In near perfect conditions and with the water levels on the Mulkear River having fallen significantly during the week, the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers held a highly successful outing on Saturday last, 23rd February 2013. The practical conservation work took place in Annacotty on both sides of the Mulkear River above and below the old Dublin Road bridge. The outing was focused on riparian management at this High Nature Value, High Amenity Value, site.
MCV members remove significant amounts of emerging giant hogweed (Image: RÓC)
At the Mill Bar site emerging Giant Hogweed was removed and a discussion took place on the management plan for Himalayan Balsam and the re-growth of native Irish riparian flora on the site. Additional Giant Hogweed was removed below the ‘Mural of LIFE’ site. Significant evidence of otter activity on site was also discussed and reviewed including the remains of a river lamprey.
MCV members plant a significant number of trees (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The more significant practical conservation work took place on the northern bank of the river. With the consent and blessing of St Vincent’s Special Needs Centre, the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers undertook a programme of tree planting, including Irish oak trees (Pedunculate or common oak – Quercus robur) – which included five specimen tress and a large number of saplings grown by MCV member Gearóid Jackson and denoted for planting. In addition, a large number of alder and willow saplings were also planted.
MCV member, Patricia O’ Shaughnessy installing bird box (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Bird next boxes were also installed at various strategic sites within the wooded riparian zone. These included bird box types specifically designed for robin, blue tit and great tit and a standard box for other common birds.
Volunteer, Cian Ó Conchúir installing bird box (Image: Gearóid Jackson)
Amongst the birds recorded on site included, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, robin, blackbird and chaffinch while dipper and pied wagtail were recorded on the river.
A significant clean up of the Mill Bar and St Vincent’s site also took place during the outing. Aside from non-native invasive plant species, this results in the removal of bags of rubbish including general rubbish, plastic and glass bottles, a plastic chair and a steel pet cage.
Some of the rubbish removed from the banks of the Mulkear (Image: Kevin O’Gorman)
MulkearLIFE would like to thank all the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers, including new members, who gave so generously of their time to make the outing such a success.
After a hard morning’s work, MCV members at Annacotty weir (Image: Cian Ó Conchúir)
The full schedule of this year’s outings is available on this website under the ‘Reports and Resources’ section. The next scheduled MCV outing is on the 23rd March 2013 and will focus very much on tree planting. Full details of the event will be posted in the next week.
The best time to plant a tree was tweenty years ago, the second best time is now (Image: RÓC)