The Clogheen Marsh and Clonakilty Biodiversity Group, a local conservation group, is calling on everyone interested in seeing a new wildlife centre for Clonakilty, and in sharing their ideas on the development of wildlife opportunities in the area, to get involved by completing the group’s online survey (https://forms.gle/53sUVuVeePCSsz4R7).
Clonakilty Bay is nationally renowned for its populations of wetland birds. Rare and scarce migrant birds are regularly encountered while whales and dolphins are common offshore. The area is a wildlife lover’s paradise! As a focal point in West Cork, Clonakilty is already a lively town and community, as well as an attractive and popular tourist hub. Alongside a rich history, it has stunning scenery, sandy beaches, and a vibrant music, arts and culinary scene. What is missing is a link between visitors and the incredible wildlife of the area and, as a consequence, many visitors do not get to experience the world class wildlife spectacles available.
The Clogheen Marsh and Clonakilty Biodiversity Group has secured LEADER funding for a feasibility study to examine the potential for the development of a wildlife and environmental interpretation centre in Clonakilty. Appointed consultants will examine and assess the level (if any) at which such a centre might operate. The group’s vision is for a high-end centre that will act as an exciting, collaborative, educational, social and information hub for locals, as well as domestic and international visitors. The possibility of developing a wildlife trail in the area will also form part of the study.
Parallel to this, the group is working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to assess the potential for developing the nearby Clogheen Marsh as an accessible wildlife reserve. The feasibility study will also examine means of linking these projects, such that visitors to the centre might also get to experience a wonderful bird reserve and wildlife trail.
Ciarán Cronin, Chairperson of the Group says, “With the calamities of biodiversity loss and climate change steamrolling towards us, there will be many very significant social and political changes required by us all in the years to come”. He also maintains that, “A huge level of social buy-in will be required in order to face these challenges and this will never be achieved by lecturing with facts and figures. We want to engage people with the wonder and joy of wildlife, by linking them on a deeply personal and emotional level. The hope is that we will all come to understand in our hearts, as well as in our heads, what will be required to face these challenges, and why this is important”.
If you are interested in lending your support to this exciting and ambitious project, new members to the group are welcome. Find out more by visiting @ClogheenWildlife on Facebook, or by subscribing to the Supporter’s Mailing List by sending an email to email@example.com, or by contacting the chairperson or secretary directly. The group held its first public event at Cul-de-Sac Pond on September 18. There will be more events to follow and these will be published to the Supporter’s Mailing List