Cows next to river

Bandon Rivers Trust launches first ever project to protect endangered freshwater species

Bandon Rivers Trust launches first ever project to protect endangered freshwater species

Rebecca Duncan


The Bandon Rivers Trust is now involved in its very first project!

The Caha Project will take measures to protect the natural health of the River Caha, a major tributary of the Bandon in Dunmanway, County Cork.

The southern half of the Caha has been made a Special Area of Conservation in order to protect the habitats of freshwater species, including Atlantic salmon and the endangered freshwater pearl mussel which are found there.

Thanks to a Community Water Grant, The Caha Project will fence off nearly 4km of the river to prevent livestock entry, which can damage the riverbanks and reduce the biodiversity of the area. Livestock entering the river causes the riverbank to erode and clogs it up with sediment, damaging its habitats. Fencing off these cattle access points and providing drinking troughs or nose pumps elsewhere is a simple but effective way to tackle the problem. The cattle can still have their drink, and nature can start to restore the riverbank to its natural state.

The Caha project was initiated after the Caha Group, comprised of nine local farmers, approached the Bandon Rivers Trust to see how they could protect the health of the river. As the first project that the Bandon Rivers Trust is involved in, it’s a fantastic example of how farmers and environmental groups can work together to improve the health of rivers.

The project is also part of National Heritage Week in the Republic of Ireland, highlighting the river’s role not only in the natural heritage of the area, but its role in a number of historical events, including the tragic murder of 17 people 1793.

Jason Nash, Secretary and a Director of the Bandon Rivers Trust, said: “The Bandon Rivers Trust are extremely excited about being involved in their very first project. This type of collaboration between local farmers and the Trust demonstrates what can be achieved, to the benefit of our environment and people, when we all work together."

The local farmers on the River Caha must be commended for taking the initiative by approaching us to help them with this project. Without their input and enthusiasm, this would not be possible. We look forward to seeing the progress of the project and the improvements it brings to habitats, biodiversity, and water quality. All being well, it will act as a springboard, paving the way for similar projects in years to come.”

About Bandon Rivers Trust

Situated in County Cork in the south of Ireland, Bandon Rivers Trust was formed in 2018 and works to conserve, protect, rehabilitate and improve waterways in the catchment of the River Bandon. The river has its source in the Shehy Mountains and runs down to the Celtic Sea at Kinsale Harbour.

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