Environmental award for Donal

Donal Sheehan, Castlelyons (2nd from right) and Alan Kingston from Skibbereen (2nd from left), winners of the Sustainable Agriculture Award at the CEF Environmental Awards 2017 in the Firkin Crane Theatre, Cork. They are pictured with ecologist and Eco Eye presenter Anja Murray and Donal Kissane, Gas Networks Ireland. (Picture: Diane Cusack)

Friday saw Castlelyons farmer Donal Sheehan, being honoured with a Sustainable Agriculture Award at this year’s annual Cork Environmental Forum (CEF) awards ceremony held in the Firkin Crane Theatre, Cork. 

A dairy farmer and keen nature-lover, Donal uses a variety of measures to make his farm more sustainable, including rainwater harvesting and allowing hedgerows and plants favoured by pollinators and birds, to grow.

At a survey conducted in the summer, 35 wild breeding species were identified on his farm, inlcuding five species of bats.

Drimoleague’s Alan Kingston who has been developing eco-friendly agroforestry, also received a similar award.

A delighted Donal said it’s great to be recognised by an environmental organisation such as the Cork Environmental Forum (CEF) and hopes what he is doing, might help to make a a little difference.

“We try to raise awareness by letting people know what they can do,” he recently told The Avondhu.

Donal gives farm walks to local schools on the 85 acres of land that he works on the outskirts of Castlelyons. He believes that for sustainability to truly become a focus on Irish farms, there’ll need to be changes to government policy.