The process of ranking and selecting all AEOS applicants was clearly set out in the scheme documentation. Acceptance into the scheme was established using the pre-determined selection criteria as follows:
1. farmers in the Boora region of Co. Offaly who chose Wild Bird Cover Option B (Grey Partridge) as one of their selected options,
2. farmers with a minimum of 0.5 hectares of designated land,
3. farm partnerships,
4. farmers who previously participated in REPS commencing with smallest farms. and
5. others based on farm size (again favouring smaller holdings).
Because of the funding constraints and as a result of the selection process, farmers that previously participated in REPS and had a farm size bigger than 22.06 hectares were unsuccessful in their applications as were those who had not previously participated in REPS.