Waterville/ Ballinskelligs/ Inny Catchments

Waterville Ballinskelligs Catchments

‘The Waterville Catchments and Ballinskelligs Bay are priceless and irreplaceable resources ecologically, culturally, economically and socially. The health of these systems is crucial to
the sectors/stakeholders that rely on them for a wide and varied number of reasons including agriculture, forestry, industry, tourism, aquaculture, social and recreational to name a few. It is now vital that every effort is made to ensure that benefits these key assets offer are identified in full and a plan is developed to sustainably maintain and protect them into the future’

Water is a precious resource, and is essential for all life on earth. Managing our water so it can meet our current and future needs and also continue to support the ecosystems that depend on it is vital for Ireland’s future. https://www.catchments.ie/icm-epa-role-introduction/

Strategic Overview – Final Feedback Meeting

The final meeting in the consultation process was held on-line, on Tuesday 06th October. The draft strategic overview of the plan was presented and included the aims, objectives, actions and targets for discussion. This event was hosted by the Gaeltacht Communities

Strategic Overview slide presentation can be viewed/ downloaded here.

Further comments by email were invited, allowing the consultants to complete drafting of the plan.  The plan was then forwarded to the Project Steering Group. 

 Community Geodesign Workshops – Alternative Futures for the Catchments

Citizens and Community Groups  participated in two Geodesign workshops 15th and 17th September. This allowed people to map out their ideas for projects and policies related to the catchments, the ideas were negotiated, and consensus was reached across a range of headings. These workshops were informed by the issues arising from the previous consultations.  The results were summarised into a series of maps which fed into the preparation of the draft actions. 

Geodesign* methods facilitated by Dr.Hrishi Ballal.

      This work would normally be done in a four-hour workshop. However because of COVID 19 it was run on-line over two evenings:     

r more information on Geodesign see: https://www.geodesignhub.com   

Heritage Workshops.

A series of heritage-themed workshops were held with a number of sectors as part of National Heritage Week 2020.  With a relaxing of the COVID 19 health regulations, focus groups were held with groups of farmers, gillies/ fishermen, heritage interests and Waterville Business Network. These events were sponsored by Lawpro – Local Authorities Waters Programme.

The preparation of a Sustainability Plan for the Waterville/ Ballinskelligs/ Inny Valley commenced April 2020. The aim of the plan is to protect and develop the catchments for the benefit of all concerned.

The preparation of the plan involves research, consultation with all sectors, setting priorities and identifying a management structure to implement the plan. Anglers, tourism providers, local business, farmers & landowners, a range of agencies, and the local community can all give their comments and views.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions we are unable to hold normal meetings at present. Therefore we are inviting people to contribute to the plan by phone, email, on-line survey and on-line meeting. 

Community Consultations. Two on-line community events were held as well as a community survey. A diverse range of interests contributed and valuable information was gathered.

Workshop one:  Niall Walsh, Project Scientist, presented a Bio-Diversity Profile of the catchments,Thursday 16th July. To view presentation click here.  Summary of discussions available here. Video recording of workshop available here

Workshop two:  130 community surveys were completed – Dr Brendan, O’Keeffe, Project Consultant presented a summary of the community survey responses. To view the presentation click here.  Summary of the discussions click here.  Video recording of the workshop available here.

Stakeholder Consultation. Thanks to all organisations, business and agencies who took the time and interest to complete the stakeholder on-line survey.  Forty-five representatives of the various agencies and organisations attended the on-line presentation of the preliminary findings  Friday 19th June.  

Contact details for participating organisations available here

Progress Update

  • Biodiversity profile completed and presented to agencies and community,
  • Survey and interviews with agencies and national organisations completed,
  • Survey of local community organisations and interested individuals completed, 
  • A schools’ project completed,
  • On-line meetings with agencies, national organisations and local community completed,
  • Heritage Week events held,
  • Download August update click here.

Steering Group Members:

  • IRD Waterville,
  • South Kerry Development Partnership,
  • Kerry County Council,
  • LAWPRO – Local Authorities Waters Programme,
  • Teagasc,
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Project Consultants – O’Raw Consultancy & Associates:

  • Paul O’Raw,
  • Dr Brendan O’Keeffe,
  • Dr Hrishi Balall,
  • Niall Walsh

For further information contact Paul O’Raw at 087 2317204

Useful Links.

Heritage Council calls on children across the country to showcase local heritage through LEGO® brick.  Click here

Saving Ireland’s Water, Eco-Eye/ Catchments.ie video.

The good ecological status of rivers and lakes – University of Duisberg, Germany. Video

Healthy rivers: What WFD means for river life. Environment Agency UK. Video.