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A Great Day Volunteering

A great day was had last Saturday (22nd February 2014) when the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers undertook a major river clean-up and habitat enhancement work on the Mulkear River above and below Annacotty weir.

MCV 22 Feb 2014 5 for use

Mulkear Conservation Volunteers in action (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The work involved a major clean-up of rubbish and a large volume of plastics which had been deposited at the site below Annacotty weir during recent flood events.  More importantly the build-up of trees, branches and other debris which had accumulated at the site was dislodged and the main river channel and side channel were allowed to perform their natural functions once more.

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Some of the debris and plastics removed (Image: Kevin O Gorman)

 

MCV 22 Feb 2014 6 - Cleanup - for use

With debris removed river perform the rest of the clean up (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The outing was focused on general riparian management and a large number of native Irish broadleaf trees, both mature and saplings, were planted.  Given the extent of damage caused in recent storms and the very large number of tress blown down, it was fitting that the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers should play their part in planting trees to begin to address the damage caused.

MCV 22 Feb 2014 7 - On the Move - for use

Mulkear Conservation Volunteers work on the eastern bank (Image: Cian Ó Conchúir)

Trees within riparian corridors are extremely important places and act as the interface between river and the adjacent land. They provide a vital conduit for the transfer of nutrients between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and play a vital role in capturing nutrients and silt which run off from adjacent lands. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that is an important part of stream temperature regulation.

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Review of bird boxes previously installed by MCV members (Image: Kevin O’ Gorman)

Such areas play prominent role in supporting biodiversity and mature woodlands, like those found on the eastern river bank of the Mulkear River, are of critical importance in supporting mammal and bird species in addition to providing a range of ecosystem services.

MCV 22 Feb 2014 7 - Tree Planting - for use

Tree planting by Mulkear Conservation Volunteers (Image: Cian Ó Conchúir)

The Mulkear Conservation Volunteers were also very fortunate to find very clear evidence of otter activity several hundred meters upstream from the site.  The evidence, which included clear prints and spraints together with a slide and possible resting holts, was investigated and confirmed as other optimal site for otters on the Lower Mulkear River.

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Otter activity evident on Lower Mulkear River (Image: John Murphy)

The initial planned work related to the installation of dipper boxes but this work could not proceed on Saturday due to the elevated water levels. For safety reasons it was impossible to proceed with this work given the present high water levels.  It is hoped that this will form part of the next MCV outing once water levels return to normal levels.

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Installation of dipper boxes not possible given water levels (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

MulkearLIFE would like to most sincerely thank all volunteers who continue to support this work and make a real difference to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the Mulkear Catchment.

MCV 22 Feb 2014 7 - MCV Members Walking - for use

A Big Thank You To All MCV Members (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

 

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Mulkear LIFE, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ashbourne Business Park, Dock Road, Limerick, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)61 300 238   Email: limerick@fisheriesireland.ie