KerryLIFE Project Objectives and Achievements

KerryLIFE Project Objectives

The objectives of KerryLIFE were:

  • To demonstrate effective conservation measures that restore the freshwater pearl mussel to favourable conservation condition in the Caragh and Blackwater catchments.
  • To enhance awareness and understanding of the freshwater pearl mussel amongst local stakeholders.
  • To demonstrate sustainable management techniques for farming and forestry in freshwater pearl mussel catchments.
  • To provide guidance for farming and forestry practices that support the conservation of freshwater pearl mussels.

KerryLIFE Main Achievements

The project worked closely with farmers and forest-owners within these two SACs.  The original target area was 2,500 ha of farmland and 515 ha of forestry (in both public and private ownership) was exceeded with 5,038 ha of farmland and 542 ha of forest involved. By project end at 31st August 2020, the key deliverables and outputs achieved were:

  • Improved freshwater pearl mussel habitat condition
  • Worked with 42 participants (farmers and/or forest-owners)
  • Created 5.9 km of buffers
  • Re-vegetated 76 km of drains
  • Blocked 122 drains
  • Planted 2.6 km of hedgerow
  • Reduced sediment losses by improving the condition of 427 ha of critical source area
  • Enhanced livestock management facilities
  • Reduced nutrient inputs on farms across 501 ha
  • Installation of 262 alternative livestock drinking facilities
  • Surveyed 542 ha of forestry
  • Established 27 ha of native woodland
  • Conserved 14.1 ha of existing woodland
  • Restructured 178 ha of conifer plantation to long-term retention woodland or open peatland habitat
  • Converted 50.2 ha of conifer plantation to long-term retention native woodland
  • Trialled novel mitigation measures
  • Trialled novel firebreak methods
  • Collected and collated extensive baseline information on the condition of the freshwater pearl mussel populations and associated habitats.
  • Up skilled and trained farmers and forest-owners
  • Created 7.6 km of looped walkways
  • Raised awareness of freshwater pearl mussels and the importance of the SACs among farmers, forest-owners and local communities