€1.4m scheme to restore and protect Allow River

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.

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 counties 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 improving the natural environment for all.

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