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Donegal river selected for a a fresh water national pearl mussel conservation project

The river is one of eight fresh water locations that have been selected across the country

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Email:

tom.comack@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal river selected for a a fresh water national pearl mussel conservation project

Fresh-water- pearl- mussel

The freshwater pearl mussel in one Donegal river is of such a high quality that it is included in a European Union project aimed at improving the habitat for the mussel.

The river in question is the Glaskeelan river in the Churchill area of the county. It flows into Gartan lake and its catchment area includes the upper and lower slopes of the Derryveagh Mountains.

“The pearl mussel in the Glaskeelan river is of a very high quality and that is why it is included among the eight river over the whole country,” a spokesperson for the project told the Democrat.

The project is a voluntary one and is aimed at incentivising farmers and landowners to improve the environmental condition of their farms lands with the aim of enhancing watercourses for the endangered freshwater pearl mussel.

The Pearl Mussel Project EIP are organising a series of indoor farmer consultation meetings in the various project river catchments.

The Donegal meeting is on Thursday, December 6, in the Colmcille Heritage Centre, Churchill, at 8pm.

The organisers are anxious all farmers and landowners in the catchment area of the river attend the meeting.

The meetings will outline the background and aims of the project. At these meetings it is hoped to receive input from the farmers on the design and implementation of the scheme.

The scheme will be results-based in that the better the environmental result the higher the payment to farmers.

There are two types of payments: one is a result-based payment and depends on achieving a certain standard on a scorecard. The second is a supporting action payment which is to help landowners achieve the required standard over time.