An evaluation of an agri-environmental project in south Kerry is recommending such initiatives must be mainstreamed and invested in.
The KerryLIFE project ran from 2014 to 2020 in the Caragh and Kerry Blackwater rivers catchments.
Around 50 farmers and forestry owners developed and demonstrated working practices to conserve the endangered fresh water pearl mussel and were paid for doing so.
The pearl mussel is an excellent indicator of pristine water quality.
The measures included fencing off water courses, blocking drains to prevent sediment washing into rivers and installing drinking troughs.
Project manager, Richard O'Callaghan, paid tribute to the local community for embracing the project: