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Inishowen Rivers Trust launch a new flood management project for the Clonmany catchment

Inishowen Rivers Trust launch a new flood management project for the Clonmany catchment

We’re incredibly pleased to announce that the Inishowen Rivers Trust has recently been awarded €135,000 from the EU LEADER Programme, OPW, Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and Donegal County Council to bring nature based flood solutions to the Clonmany area.  Back in Feb 2018 the Inishowen Rivers Trust held a public awareness event on natural flood management called ‘Slow the Flow’.  It was the first event in a series that helped to raise awareness of how using nature based solutions has the potential to alleviate flooding in Inishowen catchments.

Project Officer for the Inishowen Rivers Trust, Trish Murphy, said, “Over the last three years the Trust has increased our knowledge of Natural Flood Management (NFM) through a scoping project with Trinity College. This was a valuable exercise that helped us connect with many people in the community. This new project is called ‘On the Ground’ and brings all this planning together for an implementation phase. We will be working closely with the local people on this as well as a flooding consultant, ecologist, works contractor and all of the relevant agencies.”

Local Culdaff man Mark Davenport will act as landowner liaison and is keen to hear more from landowners in the Clonmany catchments, “Wherever you live in the Clonmany area, we’d like to hear about any flooding history you have experienced or if you have a stream running through your property. NFM works best higher up in a catchment where small measures can slow the flow and help prevent flooding downstream. It’s those small streams that are the most important. When a wide range of measures are implemented across many small streams, this has the combined effect of slowing down the peak of the floods, reducing some of the flashiness of the catchment and giving more time for the system to cope. Local landowners have a lot of local knowledge so we want to hear from them’.

The technique has been used effectively in the UK for a number of years and one of the Trust directors Rosemary McCloskey, who is originally from Buncrana but is now based in Stroud, is involved in natural flood management in the UK. Rosemary said, “Floods will still occur but measures like this can reduce some of the impacts of flooding for downstream residents. Climate scientists are predicting more extreme weather patterns in the future, more droughts, more floods and we need to prepare for this. Nature based solutions are a win-win because they can be implemented easily without impacting on farm activities, help to increase the resilience of the landscape, and have additional benefits for wildlife.”

This project will be the first large scale, community driven natural flood management project for Ireland and will provide many opportunities to combine local knowledge with scientific expertise. To find out more about how to get involved with the project, pick up one of the leaflets available now through the local shops in and around Clonmany and Ballyliffen or contact Mark on 083 812 3218 or on mark@inishowenriverstrust.com.

Kindly supported by funding through the EU LEADER Programme 2014-2020 European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas, OPW, LAWPRO and Donegal CoCo.

More details about the Inishowen Rivers Trust can be found on www.inishowenriverstrust.com.

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