CRiBZ Scheme

Buffers & Biodiversity

In June 2021, the Inishowen Rivers Trust secured funding of €132,870 from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to deliver a scheme that works with local farmers and community to protect and enhance our riparian zones, manage farm inputs into our streams and improve habitat quality for biodiversity. The Culdaff Riparian Buffer Zone (CRiBZ) Scheme is a catchment scale project based on the Culdaff River in North Inishowen, Co. Donegal.

Logo for CRiBZ Scheme

Project partners

The CRiBZ Scheme is led by the Inishowen Rivers Trust and other key partners are:

  • Inishowen Uplands EIP
  • Inish Forestry
  • Culdaff River Community Angling Club
  • Trees on the Land
  • Others - statutory agencies, local community groups, contractors and beekeepers

How does it work?

The scheme is a one-off payment to implement buffer zones. Landowners on the river are invited to submit an Expression of Interest in participating in the project. A range of measures are offered which have a number of key benefits for landowners:

  1. Payments for fencing the river and riverbank set aside
  2. Drinkers provided to replace livestock access to river
  3. Recommendations on farm drain management and use of nature based solutions
  4. Optional Beehive installation and wildflower seeds, with management & expertise
  5. Establishment of long-term riverbank stabilisation and erosion control
  6. Improved water quality
  7. Improved farm biodiversity including native trees, wildflowers
  8. Improved compliance to DAFM environmental standards
  9. Assessment of invasive species and advice on control


In order to participate in the scheme farmers/landowners must meet a number of criteria and landowner can participate by requesting an Expression of Interest Form.


Benefits of the Scheme

The CRiBZ Scheme is a great opportunity for farmers in the Culdaff area to get involved in creating cleaner water for livestock, for the river and for the local community. Nature based solutions are effective at filtering drain water, reducing run-off and loss of fertiliser. Farmers around Inishowen are realising the benefits of working with nature and these low-cost solutions are simple to install and can improve compliance. As part of our summer training programme the Trust developed a series of videos on nature-based solutions which can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Nature Based solutions on farm drains
Nature Based Solutions on an
Inishowen Farm

Getting involved improves farmland biodiversity too, creating habitats for wildlife and pollinators which will in turn benefit farmland. New CAP guidelines are promoting the concept of leaving space for nature and protecting our watercourses.

Bank erosion is a significant problem on the Culdaff River and this scheme will help to reduce erosion and prevent sediment from entering the river. Trees and hedging in the right place will bind the bank and filter run-off. Fencing too will keep livestock from entering the stream.  By reducing the amount of sediment and other nutrients entering the river we are helping increase aquatic wildlife and improving water quality.

This scheme provides local farmers with a chance to get involved and get hands-on advice and support to enhance our local environment for the benefit of all.

Culdaff River.
Funded by

The Culdaff Riparian Buffer Zone (CRiBZ) Scheme is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) project being administered by the Inishowen Rivers Trust. The Project is funded by the EU Recovery Instrument Funding under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022.

CRiBZ Funders