The Minister of State for Heritage Malcom Noonan, has announced a funding allocation of €500,000 to clear the invasive rhododendron species from Connemara National Park.
The funding will be spent over the next two years to help eradicate rhododendron across 300 hectares of heath and blanket bog within the National Park, and will create employment opportunities.
“Removing invasive species is challenging and labour-intensive work, but it’s critically important for the health of our ecosystems,” the Minister of State said.
.The aim is for the works to commence by the fourth quarter of the year.
John Sweeney, President of Connemara Chamber of Commerce and Karen Mannion, CEO of FORUM Connemara (who are working with the National Parks as neighbours on a range of agri-environmental initiatives) both welcomed the news, saying:
“We are aware that similar work in 2020 provided employment to eight locals through the Farm Relief Service. It is tremendous to see this positive conservation work ongoing within the National Park, which is of significant benefit to both biodiversity and the community. We look forward with anticipation to the delivery of this project, which will further enhance Connemara as a location to visit and as a place to live.”