Project supporter Teagacs hosted a major agri-environmental conference in the Mulkear catchment this week which MulkearLIFE was delighted to have a display stand at. The 2010 Agri Environment Conference provided a forum for those working in the agri-environmental arena to discuss the most topical environmental issues affecting agriculture in Ireland. The Conference focused on the practical outcomes from current agri-environment research and advisory experience and examined policy drivers and their potential impacts. The well attended event included inputs from experts on environmental research and policy and a farm walk on the Solohead Research Farm. Of partricular interest to MulkearLIFE was the work of Dr. Rogier Schulte, Head of Environment Research (Johnstown Castle) and Teagacs’s Agricultural Catchments Programme headed by Ger Shortle. The Agricultural Catchments Programme is based on a partnership with farmers and other stakeholders and aims to support productive agriculture while protecting water quality. MulkearLIFE is keen to continue to work in close co-operaion with both parties and share results and findings of its own ongoing work with farmers to improve water quality in the Mulkear catchment.
Also in attandance was Dr. Ciarán O’Keefe and Dr. Andy Bleasdale of the National Parks and Wildlife Service who are significant co-financers of MulkearLIFE. Their input provided an update on national conservation issues and their attandance provided the project an opportunity to update NPWS senior managment on progress achieved to date by MulkearLIFE.
In addition, the conference offered MulkearLIFE an opportunity to highlight its work within the local farming community to the large number of Teagacs planners and researchers and to network with local farmers attending the conference. It was also an opportunity for MulkearLIFE to showcase the project’s environmental education work and its September 2010 series of illustrated talks in Cappamore Community Centre.
MulkearLIFE is extremely appreciative to Teagasc, and Mark Gibson in particular, Environmental Specialist and conference coordinator, for affording the project the opportunity to have a display stand at this important event held within the Mulkear catchment.