€1.4m scheme to re­store and pro­tect Al­low River

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARM FINANCE - Stephen Cado­gan

Sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural prac­tices which en­hance wet­land and fresh­wa­ter ecosys­tem ser­vices will be re­warded in the five-year Duhal­low Farm­ing for Blue Dot Catch­ments (Al­low Project), se­lected to im­ple­ment a new €1.4 mil­lion Euro­pean In­no­va­tion Part­ner­ship.

It will de­velop a cost-ef­fec­tive, com­mu­nity-led strat­egy to re­store and pro­tect the high sta­tus of the Al­low River, which flows through Cos Lim­er­ick and Cork, from the Mul­laghareirk Moun­tains to the Mun­ster Black­wa­ter. Work­ing closely with farm­ers in the catch­ment, the in­no­va­tive re­sults-based pay­ments scheme will re­ward prac­tices which en­hance wet­land and fresh­wa­ter ecosys­tem ser­vices.

It is hoped up to 100 farms will ben­e­fit from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the EIP. They will select ac­tions de­signed to en­hance the river ecosys­tem, and will be fi­nan­cially re­warded for suc­cess­ful ac­tions.

The River Al­low is a Spe­cial Area of Con­ser­va­tion for pro­tec­tion of species such as ot­ter, fresh­wa­ter pearl mus­sel, lam­prey, and salmon. The river has been the sub­ject of ex­ten­sive work as part of IRD Duhal­low’s Life pro­grammes. The new Al­low project will build on these pro­grammes, bring­ing an eco­nomic boost for farm­ers while i m p r o v i n g t h e n at u r a l en­vi­ron­ment for all.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed on the Al­low River at Kan­turk last month with Com­mu­nity Wa­ter Of­fi­cer Kieran Mur­phy, left, and Catch­ment Sci­en­tist Dr Paul O’cal­laghan, UCD, to launch the na­tional Sus­tain­abil­ity Sup­port and Ad­vi­sory Pro­gramme. Now, the Al­low is to get its own con­ser­va­tion scheme.

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