NPWS accused of mismanaging rhododendron infestation in Killarney National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has been accused of mismanaging a rhododendron infestation in the county.

Groundwork, a voluntary group which ran camps removing the invasive species from Killarney National Park, has made a formal complaint to the European Commission about the state body’s management of rhododendron ponticum.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht spent almost €3 million on rhododendron clearance programmes between 2005 and 2015.

Groundwork Chairperson Trevor Halpin says the group was at a maintenance phase, when it ceased its operations in the park in 2009.

He adds many groups cleared areas of woodland, however, the NPWS had no follow-up plan to control further rhododendron infestations.