A large number of Mulkear Conservation Volunteers gathered yesterday (10th Dec 2012) to undertake a review of the practical conservation work undertaken by the MCV throughout 2012 and to plan for 2013. The planning workshop took place in Crokers, Murroe, Co. Limerick and reviewed the exceptional work undertaken by the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers in 2012. In reviewing the work on a seasonal basis various themes began to emerge as did the impact of the poor summer weather on the work during the summer / autumn months.
Back breaking work – site for artificial holt being prepared (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Some of the highlights which were reviewed included the installation of an otter holt in January 2012 in the Upper Newport River and otter training and otter survey work in July.
Fresh otter spraint with fish scales & bone fragments (Image – Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Other highlights included the significant work undertaken by the Mulkear Conservation volunteers in support of the ‘Mural of LIFE’ site and related habitat work at Annacotty in February, April and May 2012.
Members of the MCV and Annacotty Tidy Towns Committee (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
It was noted that this work culminated in the official launch of the ‘Mural of LIFE’ site on the 21st May 2012, the date of the LIFE @ 20 Celebrations right across Europe by the Minister of Finance Mir. Michael Noonan TD.
Pupils of Lisnagry NS with Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan TD at LIFE Celebrations
Other highlights included significant habitat works on the Mulkear, Bilboa and Clare rivers with tree planting, removal of large areas of invasives and general river clean-ups.
MCV members undertake path repair work (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The workshop also set in place a draft operational plan and schedule for outings in 2013. It was suggested that the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers would continue to focus their efforts on key strategic sites. Several of these sites were identified and include high amenity value and High Nature Value sites in the lower and upper catchment of the Mulkear. The need for local linkages and local involvement, with full landowner consent, was emphasised by all.
MCV members remove pheasant berry above Bilboa Bridge (Image: Glen Wightman)
The planning event also reviewed options for establishing the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers on a sustainable basis in the After LIFE period. Various options were discussed including establishing the MCVs on a legal or non-legal basis. The option of a charitable trust was reviewed and it was agreed that this and other options would be examined further. The need for clear leadership and direction for the MCV after the MulkearLIFE project has completed its work was outlined by many of the volunteers present.
The event also allowed MCV members to meet socially and get to know individaul members better including newer members.
The full Schedule of MCV Outings will be available on this website within the next few weeks. Anyone wishing to find out more about the work of the MCV can contact the MulkearLIFE project office 061 300 238.