News

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 - Farm Advisor Meeting, Maam Cross

Farm Advisor Meeting1 2019

The PMP were delighted with the attendance at our first Farm Advisor meeting in Maam Cross, Co. Galway today. Advisors are key partners in delivery of our farm programme to be launched next month, which will help with the long-term conservation of critical endangered freshwater pearl mussel populations in Ireland.

The role of trained advisors will be to assess farm habitats, advise farmers on supporting actions, and help farmers in preparing annual works plans.

The next Farm Advisor meeting for the South-west is on 24 January 2019: Killarney House, Killarney National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry from 2-5pm.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri

Pearl Mussel Project - Catchment Officer news

Mary McAndrew, PMP Catchment Officer in the West and North-west has had a busy time over the last couple of weeks since taking up her new post. Mary has been out scoring our pilot farms and getting to know her way around our catchments, in a range of weather conditions. She has even met some frisky locals... native deer on some of our blanket bog commonage areas!

Mary has also been working on developing pesticide guidelines for the projects Terms & Conditions’s documentation and is preparing her presentation for the forthcoming advisor information meetings next week.

Glaskeelan Deer2
Shocking weather
Bundorragha 002

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri

Local Authorities Water Programme Conference

PMP Local Authorities Water Programme Conference Tullamore 2019


The Pearl Mussel Project attended some very interesting presentations today at the Local Authorities Water Programme Conference 2019 in Tullamore. The programme is a shared service working with Local Authorities and State Agencies to develop and implement River Basin Management Plans in Ireland, as required under the EU Water Framework Directive. The conference included a great range of speakers with innovative examples of how to reduce the impacts of a variety of farming actions on rivers, one of the main challenges facing freshwater pearl mussel in Ireland.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #waterandcommunities

Pearl Mussel Project Farm Advisor Meetings

Farm Advisor Meeting image

The Pearl Mussel Project (PMP) is a 5 year European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funded to the tune of €10 million by DAFM through the Rural Development Programme. The aim of the project is to design and implement an innovative results based farm programme which will help with the long-term conservation of critical endangered freshwater pearl mussel populations in Ireland.

The PMP foresee established farm advisors as having a key role in the successful implementation of the programme. The role of trained advisors will be to assess farm habitats, advise farmers on supporting actions, and help farmers in preparing annual works plans.

Only PMP approved advisors will be able to work on the programme.

The PMP will present further details on the programme and the role of farm advisors at two indoor advisor information meetings to be held in January 2019.

To register your interest in becoming an approved advisor on the project or for any further information on the Pearl Mussel Project please email Mary McAndrew, Catchment Officer, Pearl Mussel Project at mary@pmproject.ie

Farm Advisor Information Meetings:
22 January 2019: Peacockes Hotel,
Lurgan, Maam Cross, Co. Galway, 2-5pm
24 January 2019: Killarney House, Killarney National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 HE3C, 2-5pm

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-Agri

Farmer consultation meetings a great success

PMP Farmer Meeting Collage

Over the last three weeks the Pearl Mussel Project hosted a total of 8 farmer and community consultation meetings within each of the catchments in the project in Counties Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal.

The project team were delighted with the attendance at these events, with more than 250 farmers and local community representatives present at the different meetings.

The farmer consultation evenings provided an opportunity for the farm communities to learn about project developments to date, meet Pearl Mussel Project team members, and provide an input to the design of the results based farm programme to be launched in 2019. We had valuable discussions and input from local farmers at the meetings, touching on subjects such as treatment of commonage lands, turf cutting and other impacting activities (fishery and forestry), programme duration and participation, payment rates, and the control of invasive species among the topics raised at the meetings. During the meetings the project team circulated a consultation questionnaire to gauge perceptions in relation to farming, freshwater pearl mussel, and agri-environmental schemes. Over 175 completed forms were returned!! The responses are currently being analysed and will inform future programme design.

The Pearl Mussel Project wish to thank all the attendees who gave their time to participate at the meetings.

We would also like to thank the various groups that provided venues for the consultation meetings for their support of the Pearl Mussel Project including The Blackwater Tavern, Caha Centre, Dromid Day Centre, Glencar Community Centre, FORUM Connemara, Glen Keen Farm, The Boat Inn and Colmcille Heritage Centre.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-Agri

New Catchment Officers Appointed

The Pearl Mussel Project are delighted to welcome our two new catchment officers Tara Challoner and Mary McAndrew to the team working on the project to protect freshwater pearl mussels in Ireland. Tara will be working with farmers in the southern catchments in Cork and Kerry out of our Kenmare office, while Mary will be providing farmer support in the west and north-west catchments in Mayo, Galway and Donegal from her home base in Mayo. 

Mary McAndrew SML

Mary McAndrew has spent the past two and 1/2 years advising farmers on behalf of both the Farm Relief Services and Teagasc, and working with farmers for the GLAS agri-environmental scheme. Mary also worked on the Knowledge Transfer Groups programme, hosting meetings for farmers on relevant topics.

Contact email: mary@pmproject.ie





Tara Challoner Portrait

Tara Challoner has been working as a farm conservation advisor on hill farms in the UK since 2011 and has worked on several agri-environment schemes, including catchment sensitive farming and the development of  the results-based agri-environmental pilot scheme (RBAPS) project for the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (ENFCP) in the Yorkshire Dales. She has trained several groups of farmers and set up a land manager group who have joined a Natural England facilitation fund, whereby they agree to work together to protect the environment at a landscape scale.

Contact email: tara@pmproject.ie



Farmer Consultation meeting in the Kerry Blackwater

The Pearl Mussel Project kicked off a series of Farmer Consultation meetings last night in the Blackwater, Co. Kerry. 40 local farmers and members of the public were in attendance. The evening provided a valuable venue for the local community to learn about the project to date, meet team members, and provide an input to the design of the results based farm programme to be launched in 2019. The project obtained valuable feedback from farmers involved in the KerryLIFE project, as well as other related environmental topics. 

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-Agri

Blackwater meeting - Version 2
PMP TEam Blackwater 26.11.2018

Some of the members of Pearl Mussel Team in the Blackwater Tavern, Kerry (L to R): Patrick Crushell, Mary Catherine Gallagher, Mary McAndrew, Tomas O'Connor, Tara Challoner and Derek McLoughlin.


Upcoming Farmer Consultation Meetings

ConsultationMeetingRegionalPoster National


Pearl Mussel Project Farmer Consultation Meetings in NW Announced

The Pearl Mussel Project EIP have announced details of a series of indoor farmer consultation meetings in the various project river catchments in north west of Ireland during December. 

The consultation meetings will outline the background and aims of the project. 

At these meetings we hope to get input from the farm communities on the design and implementation of the programme. 

All are welcome to attend!



  • Dawros Catchment: FORUM Connemara, Letterfrack, Co. Galway. Monday the 3rd  of December at 8pm
  • Bundorragha Catchment: Glen Keen Farm, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. Tuesday the 4th of December at 8pm
  • Owenriff Catchment: The Boat Inn, Oughterard, Co. Galway. Wednesday the 5th  of December at 8pm
  • Glaskeelan Catchment: Colmcille Heritage Centre, Church Hill, Co. Donegal. Thursday the 6th of December at 8pm

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-Agri

Pearl Mussel Project Farmer Consultation Meetings in SW Announced

ConsultationMeetingPoster2018

The Pearl Mussel Project EIP have announced details of a series of indoor farmer consultation meetings in the various project river catchments in south west of Ireland during November. 

The consultation meetings will outline the background and aims of the project. 

At these meetings we hope to get input from the farm communities on the design and implementation of the programme. 

All are welcome to attend!



  • Kerry Blackwater Catchment: The Blackwater Tavern, Blackwater, Co. Kerry. Monday the 26th of November at 8pm
  • Ownagappul Catchment: The Caha Centre, Ardgroom, Co. Cork. Tuesday the 27th of November at 8pm
  • Currane Catchment: Dromid Day Centre, Waterville, Co. Kerry. Wednesday 28th November at 8pm
  • Caragh Catchment: Glencar Community Centre, Glencar, Co. Kerry. Thursday 29th November at 8pm

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-Agri

© Pearl Mussel Project Ltd 2018