Published. Welcome to the Killarney National Park. Please subscribe to sign in to comment. The Tomies Wood Loop Walk is an easy to moderate, family friendly 3 to 4 hour (9km) marked loop trail through these beautiful woods on the slopes of Tomies Mountain (735m) and on the shore of Lough Leane, the largest of the Killarney Lakes, Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland. They wanted to stay in the Stone Age, but we wanted to progress things on.”. Instead, it guided them to the shore of nearby Lough Leane. For one key party to the dispute, what happened in 2005 is very simple. Suspected rhododendron poisoning in dogs. They wanted to protect the integrity of their previous work by keeping the cleared woods clear. That’s why we treat it. On the contrary, they often undermine them for political advantage. Taken together, these commitments seem to point to a way forward. Days later, O’Keefe describes these same “peripheral areas” to me as “the best semi-natural oak woods in the country”. But how this can happen under current NPWS structures remains unclear. Far from being primitives, Groundwork was consistently led by qualified scientists, several of whom now occupy senior positions in Irish and international conservation organisations. The EU office examining Groundwork’s complaint comments, with some stupefaction, on the lack of field records kept at the park. They also concur that an external and independent scientific review of the park’s entire rhododendron strategy is now needed. Rhododendron flower produces 7000 seeds which disperse through water and air, making this process even more complicated. Numerous other alien plants have become naturalized in the Killarney area, e.g. Killarney woods, in particular the strongly invasive Rhododendron ponticum. But the byzantine NPWS structure determines that O’Keefe has no active input into rhododendron policy in the park. .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playWhat impact has Covid had on global climate? Morale is obviously important in any organisation, but should it be a bigger priority than the successful implementation of the organisation’s key responsibilities? On one drive, I point out to Cahalane that regrowth is very obvious in several “cleared” areas, with plants big enough to be easily visible at several hundred metres. Cotoneaster microphyllus, Fagus sylvatica, but it is only Rhododendron ponticum which has had any serious impact on the native communities. Yet the new Killarney NPWS management refused to allow Groundwork to carry out these surveys. And an exceptional volunteer resource, which had accumulated remarkable expertise, has been lost. The park runs a control programme for the plant and says that "hundreds of thousands of euros are spent each year in the battle to eradicate the highly invasive and destructive rhododendron ponticum". Irish broadcaster, RTÉ, said the rhododendron plants have become "jungle-like" in parts of the park. Small wonder that more than 90 per cent of our nominally protected habitats are already described, by the NPWS itself, as in “bad or inadequate condition”. The NPWS also chose a prominent Groundwork leader, the ecologist Therese Higgins, to write a definitive manual on national rhododendron clearance strategy. I tell O’Toole and Cahalane that I have recently visited woods that had been maintained completely clear by Groundwork for decades, and which had supposedly been checked by NPWS staff or contractors only months or weeks before my visit. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. A similar method was also used in 2014 to help two walkers who became trapped in a 'treacherous' rhododendron forest between County Waterford and County Tipperary. (1) Rhododendron ponticum was introduced into the Killarney area of S.W. Is he to blame if he was given great responsibilities and authority, without the scientific training they surely require? This document remains on the service’s website to this day. Earlier this year, a Kerry politician called for military action to stop the "aggressive" rhododendrons from "taking over" the beauty spot. And if the NPWS is incapable of preventing the return of invasive plants even in prime landscapes directly under its control, like Killarney National Park, how can we expect the service to enforce nature regulations on privately owned land? Perhaps some light is shed by another email later the same month from the senior ranger at the time, now deceased, to Dawson: “I also believe that the morale of our own staff should be our number one priority when this issue [rhododendron eradication] is being considered.”. The rhododendron infestation and increased deer population across the … I recognise and acknowledge the passion and commitment of all involved in the challenge of controlling and eradicating rhodo from the park.”, The following day, however, he wrote to his NPWS colleagues that “We (all three of us – as well as our divisional manager, Philip Buckley) were most upset at comments made by one or more Groundwork representatives and directed primarily at Peter, which we found offensive and most unhelpful.”, How the same meeting could be described by the same person, within 24 hours, as “informative and constructive” and then “offensive and most unhelpful” is hard to understand. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous lakes of Killarney. “What we do have is a system where we employ people who we believe are competent managers, who if they need a scientific opinion… they call for it.”. This has grown over the past 7 years to sales of nearly €500,000, employing 15 persons full time. It’s natural to wonder whether Groundwork had overstepped some boundary, or whether something untoward had come to light that forced the NPWS to distance the park from the group. It swept through the wilder woodlands only after the park was gifted to the State in 1932. But by the late 1970s even Killarney’s remote, and therefore supposedly pristine, western woodlands were effectively “ecological ghosts”. Twice, over the last two years, I have hiked with Groundwork veterans to different woods they had cleared. Killarney National Park (Irish: Páirc Náisiúnta Chill Airne), near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland, created when the Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish Free State in 1932. Michael Healy-Rae warned the Dáil (Irish parliament) in February. Aim of this advice This document provides best practice management guidelines on the control of Rhododendron ponticum and Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerus) on the island of Ireland. Has Thomas Becket's treasured 'little book' been found? 1. Overall, they say they are committed to science-led eradication in the future. It has proved an incurable problem in Killarney National Park as it completely smothers the undergrowth and allows for no regrowth, growing up to eight metres (25 feet), towering over other species and blocking out light with their thick, leafy canopy.” The other two locations are near Nanaimo and Shawnigan Lake, both located on Vancouver Island. These oak woods are the nearest thing we have to the ancient forests that once blanketed this island, but infestation by rhododendron now threatens their future, two decades after they were completely cleared of the invasive plant. Senior NPWS management consulted by The Irish Times include the principal officer responsible for science, the divisional manager covering Killarney, and the regional ecologist responsible for the area. Cases of new Covid variant appear worldwide, Seismic change: How Covid-19 altered world events in 2020. Forest Produce Ltd, (FPL), Kerry based foliage company, presented the green rhododendron shoots to be used with flowers in making flower bouquets for U.K. & European supermarkets. This name will appear beside any comments you post. The pair, reported by RTE to be from continental Europe, raised the alarm at 2pm yesterday, September 14, after becoming disorientated in Killarney National Park. The US president-elect calls for immediate action as millions of people face losing jobless benefits. "The rhododendron situation in Killarney National Park has become so bad that nothing short of calling in the army is going to put it right," .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}Michael Healy-Rae warned the Dáil (Irish parliament) in February. Rhododendron ponticum at Killarney National Park. In October 2011, a meeting was arranged on site in Killarney between Groundwork representatives and the NPWS, including Pat Dawson, representing management, and conservation ranger Peter O’Toole, in charge of rhododendron eradication. They also say they would be happy for Groundwork to return to particular sites, to compare their methods with O’Toole’s (and with other methods) over time. The NPWS and Groundwork have made a number of attempts to reach a new agreement after the impasse in 2009. South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. Yet in the very year the plan was published, a new administration in the park diverged sharply from previous arrangements with Groundwork. Find their way out of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an of. Members say they are committed to science-led eradication in the Killarney and Glengarriff native rhododendron forest killarney! 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