Work in the Mulkear Catchment, covering Limerick and Tipperary, in both upland and lowland farming systems, to address concerns about water quality, riparian management and instream habitat by promoting a catchment sensitive farming approach.
The Mulkear Catchment is a prioritised water body with impaired water quality and 9 subcatchments which are classified as being “At Risk” of not meeting the WFD objective.
Develop a model of collaborative working to collectively identify these key water quality concerns and address the issues within the Recommended Areas for Action as outlined in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021.
Establish a two-person project team comprising of a Project Manager with specialist skills in catchment and project management and an Administrator with a range of skills including financial management, communications and community outreach.
Develop and deliver a tailored Catchment Sensitive Farming training programme within a network of discussion groups / knowledge transfer groups to inform and empower farmers to address local farming related impacts on water quality.
Complete detailed local catchment assessments and develop baseline data and a monitoring programme through the EIP Operational Group partners (LAWPRO, ASSAP, Teagasc, Dairygold and the two local authorities – Limerick and Tipperary).
Develop and complete detailed farm risk assessments to enable appropriate, targeted mitigation measures to ensure the right measure in the right place.
Achieve a real collaborative partnership through the co-design and development, with local farmers, of a suite of measures, tailored to the Mulkear, and engage local farmers in the timely and efficient implementation of these measures to help address the water quality issues identified.
Develop the collaborative partnership approach further through the Mulkear EIP OG, EIP Delivery Groups, farm demo events and community outreach activities.
Share collated local evidence and data to develop a shared understanding of measures that will support catchment sensitive farming and promote its benefits.
To demonstrate successes, share best practice and communicate widely within the Mulkear and surrounding catchments/partnerships. Events to include Digital Story Telling Initiative, Mulkear Conservation Volunteer outings, etc.
Establish an award system (Catchment Sensitive Farmer Award and River Champion Award) to recognise farmers and local champions for improvements in water quality.
Develop an outreach programme (schools and tidy towns and local volunteer corps) based on improving local water quality, local biodiversity and riparian management.