See all the latest news about the Pearl Mussel Project. Remember you can also check out the latest news on our Facebook page (links opposite).

Pearl Mussel Project – 2018 Farmer Consultation Meetings Report

The results from the December 2018 farmer consultation meetings held in the eight Pearl Mussel Project catchments has been published. 

The report is  based on 176 questionnaires completed by farmers after the meetings and from the Q&A sessions at the end of each meeting. 

The Pearl Mussel Project 2018 Farmer Consultation Meetings report can be downloaded from here.

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Pearl Mussel Project first farm advisor training course

The Pearl Mussel Project Team delivered the first farm advisor training course in Oughterard yesterday to a full house. It was a great day with some of Ireland’s top agricultural advisors!

The course covered such topics as: freshwater ecology, terrestrial ecology, and the results-based approaches to Agri-environment schemes. These classroom event is Phase 1 of the course (Phase 2 will involve field based training towards the end of May 2019). 

These free training courses are a unique business opportunity to be involved in delivering an exciting results-based agri-environment programme by becoming an approved Pearl Mussel Programme advisor. You must be a FAS approved agricultural advisor to attend this training course.

Farm advisor training 1 2019b

The next farm advisor training course will be on Thursday 21 March 2019, in The Blackwater Tavern, Coomnakilla North, Killarney.

Register for this free course today on Eventbrite at (closing date for registration 15 March):

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @agriculture_ie

Farm advisor training 1 2019

Pearl Mussel Project meet Minister Michael Creed TD

The Pearl Mussel Project had a very productive meeting with Minister Michael Creed and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Dublin today.

The Minister was very positive about the environmental and social benefits of the Pearl Mussel Programme results-based approach and provided useful insights. We look forward to Minister Creed launching the official programme in Ardgroom on the 29th March.

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Minister Creed 2019 Meeting

L to R: Margaret Murray, DAFM; Patrick Crushell, PMP; Minister Michael Creed TD; Derek McLoughlin, PMP. 

Calling Shed opens in the Bundorragha Catchment

The Pearl Mussel Project are delighted to see a new art project in the Bunndoragha catchment in Co. Mayo. The art project is being organised Dr. Patricia MacKinnon-Day of Artscape in the UK. The project is entitled 'Calling Sheds',  an extension of an existing body of art works. There are four Calling Sheds presented to four female Shepherds and installed by Patricia and her team in the UK and Ireland. The Calling Shed at Glen Keen in Co. Mayo was installed in early December 2018 for local sheperd Catherine O'Grady Powers.

This is a 12 month project where the sheds aim to evoke all of the senses, smells, sights, sounds of the female Shepherds world and will also examine the historic, social, political, psychological and physical aspects of the Shepherds role.  At the end of the 12 months, the sheds will be transported back to the UK for display in the Tate Museum, Liverpool.

Raising visual awareness of women shepherds, who have been unacknowledged and even unpaid for their labour, the Calling Sheds promotes empowerment through an ongoing dialogue evolving the historical artist-to-subject relationship. The Calling Sheds gives women shepherds a platform to tell their stories and reference through objects of significance a deep lineage of contributions made by women to the agricultural industry.

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Catherine and her shed

Lisa G scottish shepherd


The Calling Sheds - shepherds and locations

Pearl Mussel Project Eyeries National School Visit

The Pearl Mussel Project had a great afternoon talking to 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class in Eyeries national school about the importance and biology of fresh water pearl mussels. We were delighted by the interest and questions raised by the students. Many of the children live in the Ownagappul catchment, one of the Pearl Mussel Project rivers. 

Thanks to the staff of Eyeries NS for inviting us!

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Eyeries NS Visit 2019 a

Ownagappul image 2019

Pearl Mussel Project – Impressions of farming within PMP catchments

At the PMP catchment consultation meetings held in 2018 farmers were asked to describe, in five words, how they see farming in their catchment today and in 20 years time. The word clouds below illustrate the outcome of this.

It is clear from both word clouds that the catchment areas are seen by farmers as beautiful, natural places, with nature at the fore. Comparing the two word clouds, it can be seen that when asked to think about the future of farming in these areas many people think of abandonment, depopulation, and part time farming.... 

Farmer Consult Post 4

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Pearl Mussel Project – Awareness of freshwater pearl mussel amongst farmers

How long have you known about the endangered freshwater pearl mussel? At the PMP catchment consultation meetings held in 2018 we learnt that 45% of farmers have known about them for most of their lives while the remaining 55% have become aware of them in the last five years (10% of whom learnt of them on the day of the meeting!!)..... Great to see an increasing awareness of our endangered biodiversity.

Farmer Consult Post 3

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Pearl Mussel Project – Farmers views on wildlife and farming

Interesting to see farmers views on wildlife and farming at the PMP catchment consultation meetings held in 2018. Clear the majority of farmer view wildlife and the environment as something of value and worthy of protection on the farm, with 84% of farmers agreeing that it is a valuable asset to their farm.

Farmer Consult Post 2

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New Horizons for Nature - Ireland's National Biodiversity Conference

The PMP attended and made a presentation at the New Horizons for Nature - Ireland's National Biodiversity Conference in Dublin Castle yesterday.

There was a diverse range of presentations throughout the day and an inspirational speech from President Michael D Higgins. He aptly summed up the problems we face with the loss of  biodiversity, and the pressures faced by habitats that support many of these endangered species. As he stated ‘’If we were coal miners, we would be up to our knees in dead canaries’’. It is time we take action to address the problem, with all stakeholders working together to tackle this grave threat.

Thanks to Caroline O’Sullivan for doing a great job of chairing the Payments for Ecosystem Services session that the PMP presented.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #ruralnetwork #biodcon19

NBDC Biodiversity e

NBDC Biodiversity g

New Horizons for Nature - Ireland's National Biodiversity Conference

New Horizons for Nature

A reminder to those attending the New Horizons for Nature - Ireland's National Biodiversity Conference on the 20th & 21st February 2019 in Dublin Castle. 

Our very own Dr. Derek McLoughlin from the Pearl Mussel Project will be giving a presentation in the Investing in Nature session (Parallel Session 5 on day 2 of the conference) under the theme of "How do payments for Ecosystem Services Work". 

The fifth parallel session features talks features talks on engaging the next generation, biodiversity in agricultural policy and accounting for natural capital.

Check out the talk on Thursday 21st at 12.15pm to learn more about the Pearl Mussel Project.

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© Pearl Mussel Project Ltd 2018