NPWS commits to maintaining farming activity on new National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have committed to maintaining current farming practices and activity on their newly acquired National Park at the Conor Pass in the Dingle peninsula.

This commitment was given at a recent meeting between Regional NPWS staff and representatives from the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) that included County Chair Mary Sheehan, County Secretary Brendan Greaney, local farmer Brendan O Rourke and National Vice President John Joe Fitzgerald.

Speaking on this the organisations national council representative for Kerry DJ Buckley (who also attended the meeting) outlined the positive nature of the engagement, especially the commitment to work with the existing farmers.

These farmers, Buckley stated “are critical in managing the existing landscape and sensitive habitats through sustainable grazing practices which we have been assured will be supported by the NPWS.” In relation to public access Buckley detailed how concern has been expressed around the possibility of a major increase in visitors and the knock-on effect this will have in the area.

On this the INHFA representative stated how “commitments were also given that any access will be tightly controlled and limited to existing pathways with assurances given that the surrounding area won’t become a gigantic car park.”

While the purchase of this land has received a lot of national attention, Buckley stressed “it is vital that local farmers and the wider community are involved in any future plans as this is, above all else, their homes, their community and their livelihoods.”

“With this in mind the INHFA will work to ensure the commitments given are delivered on in the coming months and years,” he concluded.