Visit to Carrowniskey & Bellakip Rivers

On Saturday 12 March 2022 we started on the Carrowniskey River at the Glenkeen Estate. We discussed its condition, particularly the hydromorphology of the river – its shape, slope, substratum, flow rate and banks. What is its ideal state? The upland part of the catchment is quite bare of trees, however, and this may affect the flow of water – making it flashier than it would be if the uplands were more natural – and leading to a greater risk of flooding in heavy rainfall.

We sampled the invertebrates at the edge, being careful to avoid any trout redds that may still have juvenile fish in them. There was a very nice range of insects and other macroinvertebrates indication that water quality is very good at this point along the river.

We didn’t have time for the full group to visit the bare peat bog at Srahnacloy/Cregganroe on the upper section of the Bunowen River. But a quick detour to photograph it (see above) showed ongoing exploitation of an area of some 20 hectares of bog that inevitably is having an impact on the Bunowen River.

We moved on to the Bellakip River and examined James Ryan’s recent native woodland planting on either side of the river. This will be a wonderful natural woodland area when it matures, providing a great boost to local wildlife.

We sampled the Bellakip River and it too appeared to be in very good condition. The only issue obvious here was historic animal access points where damage to the banks has led to erosion and siltation.