The Inishowen Rivers Trust aims to support projects that serve to enhance the quality of our rivers and encourage communities to reconnect with their local rivers. The Trust seeks funding on an ongoing basis to provide training and support to local groups.
In 2016 the Inishowen Rivers Trust received support from the Dept of the Environment, Community and Local Government to run two projects – Riverfly Monitoring and Invasive Alien Plants.
Riverfly Monitoring is a system of biological monitoring of rivers using a kick sample technique. Volunteers kick the stream bed and catch the disturbed mud and stones in a net. When washed into a tray a whole myriad of river creatures can be found. These ‘riverfly’ are indicators of the health of the stream. Some riverfly will only live in clean waters, whereas others can survive in polluted waters. Trained volunteers can score the quality of the stream based on this simple test. The results are sent back to the IRT where they are kept on record and can provide clues as to problems in the river.
If you would like to find out more about this initiative and how you can get involved please Contact Us.
Invasive Alien Plants
Invasive plants on our riverbanks is a cause for much concern among groups across Inishowen. In September 2016, the IRT provided an introductory workshop on identification of invasive alien plant species such as Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Winter Heliotrophe. The extent of the problem was outlined to audience and methods of control discussed. The presentation given by Mark Horton is available to download here (Invasive Alien Plants on Inishowen).
In the summer of 2017 the IRT applied for funds to carry out an invasive species audit on some rivers in Inishowen. The trust were successful in obtaining funding and in Spring and Summer of 2018 will run a workshop on identification and control of the most common invasive plants in Inishowen riparian landscapes. These species include Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Winter Heliotrope, Salmonberry (Wild Raspberry), Rhododendron and Laurel. Further events will begin to map the location of these species on selected rivers. If you would like to get involved in this type of monitoring please Contact Us.
Natural Water Retention (Flood Management)
In response to the August 2017 floods in Inishowen, the IRT ran an awareness event in February 2018 on Natural Flood Management featuring a selection of national and UK experts. For the future the IRT hope to continue to raise awareness of how water can be slowed down using natural processes and techniques. More details will be posted on this website over the coming months.