Keeping our rivers safe and healthy
The great community and volunteer work being done to maintain Inishowen’s rivers and environment was recently highlighted by the Inishowen Rivers Trust.
The Inishowen Rivers Trust is an local charity and social enterprise that protects, restores and improves the rivers and natural waterbodies of Inishowen.
“We have two employees, an active board and we also have a volunteer network of around 60 people,” said John Duffy, Project Officer with the Inishowen Rivers Trust (IRT).
IRT links local community efforts with government policies through information evenings and community forums and practical volunteer days.
“There are all sorts of ways for people of all ages and abilities to become engaged in the restoration of our river systems,” said John.
IRT recently held a public event at An Grianan Hotel in Burt titled ‘What’s Happening on Inishowen Rivers’ to discuss what is happening locally to protect our rivers
Community groups and statutory agencies, including the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), Loughs Agency, Coillte, Donegal County Council and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), attended.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Burt native, Dr. Liam Campbell, who spoke of the influence of rivers on our communities and how the river landscape connects us all.
The work and projects of groups such as the Sharagore Wetland Trail, the Mill River Conservation Group, the Buncrana Anglers Association and Inish Forestry was detailed.
Also featured were the Action Against Invasives project developed by ECO Carn and the exciting results of the Knotweed Novel Organic Treatment (KNOT) initiative being trialled by KPM Soils.
Other projects highlighted were Inishowen Development Partnership’s Wellbeing from Nature project and IRT’s Culdaff Riparian Buffer Zones scheme.
A group of 28 participants visited the Sharagore Wetlands Trail, the Natural Flood Management project in Clonmany, the sites of knotweed treatment and a river bank revetment in Carndonagh.
“We monitor the health of our river systems through a range of local and national surveys. We also engage with local authorities to reduce the impact of in-stream works and we promote nature based solutions,” said John.
“We also pioneer and promote the use of nature-based solutions for flood alleviation as a means to address the increased flood risks associated with climate change.”
Over the coming year IRT will be out and about in Inishowen and beyond encouraging more groups to reconnect with our rivers, providing training and exchanging practical experiences with others.
If you would like to get involved, you can register as a volunteer or sign up for IRT’s newsletter RiverView to keep informed. Visit www.inishowenriverstrust.ie
The Inishowen Rivers Trust is part of the Inishowen Social Enterprise Network (ISEN) which is made up of 20 different social enterprises – community groups, tourism, arts and cultural groups – all working to support their local community, filling many gaps in services and supports.
The ARISE (Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprises) project, has a range of videos explaining the positive work being done by social enterprises across Inishowen.