In 2016 we received a Heritage Council grant to complete an updated flora count and management plan for Duach Beach
Anthony McGeehan, renowned ornithologist, photographer and author, has been working on improving habitats for wildlife. INT supports this by providing funds for materials and occasional labour.
Future work will follow guidelines of the Inishbofin Community Nature Plan, to improve island habitats for flora and fauna. Possible projects may include:
- Native Tree and hedge planting schemes
- Improving habitats for breeding corncrakes
- School project to monitor swallow nests
- Beach clean ups
Duach Beach Conservation Project
This project to restore the damaged machair dune system was funded by LEADER, and was overall winner in the ESB/Conservation Volunteers Ireland Award 2000. INT has since funded on-going maintenance work such as fence repair and dredging of the stream, purchase of tools and fencing, as well as a management plan for the dunes.
Inishbofin Meadow Restoration Project
This was a project in collaboration with the Birdwatch Ireland corncrake field worker to encourage local farmers to save hay meadows, a vital habitat for the globally endangered corncrake. Traditionally hay was saved by hand and made into reeks. With less labour available only 1 or 2 farmers were still saving hay, which was having a detrimental effect on birdlife, in particular the corncrake. With joint funding by the Heritage Council Biodiversity Fund 2006, the project subsidised the cost of bringing a hay baler onto the island and the purchase of ring feeders. The result has been a significant increase in the number of hay meadows on Inishbofin. Corncrake numbers have also risen. Farmers now pay all the costs themselves.
Funding has been through donations and T-shirt sales.
With the growth of ecotourism on the island, it is envisaged that the fund will an important source of funding for conservation projects on Inishbofin. Therefore we will encourage visitors and businesses to contribute to this fund by:
- Sales of T-shirts at the Dolphin Hotel, Inishbofin Heritage Museum and Inishbofin Community Centre
- Sales of reusable PUNC water bottles through businesses on the island
- Sponsor a tree scheme for ecotourism participants
- Donations through website via Paypal