Rivers trusts are charities, established by local people to look…
Inishowen Rivers Trust – River Care Knowledge Share
On Wednesday February 22nd 2017, the Inishowen Rivers Trust invited communities and agencies to gather and share their hopes and vision for the future of Inishowen’s precious rivers, loughs and coastal waters.
“It was clear from the outset that this was going to be an uplifting event. There was a buzz amongst organisations as they set up their stalls with banners, leaflets and interesting objects to demonstrate to the audience the work they carry out on Inishowen waters.” – Trish Murphy, one of the Trust’s directors and organisers of the event.
The event began with water songs performed by local musicians setting a relaxed tone for the evening and reminding us of our shared passion to care for our local rivers. This was followed by excellent presentations from Bernie O’Flaherty and Jimmy McVeigh from the Waters & Communities Office, and Mark Horton, the All Ireland Director of The Rivers Trust.
Each of the speakers reiterated the importance of community engagement with water and showed how Trusts can connect communities across a large catchment area, have multiple benefits in terms of water quality, biodiversity, health and well-being, and generate an economic benefit for those communities. After the presentations agency representatives and several community groups were invited to give a short introduction to their organisation and everyone had the chance to provide comments, feedback or questions to a harvest board. This provided ample opportunity to mingle and meet others, and it was certainly a busy evening. The final part of the night focused on looking at the themes raised on the harvest board and a Question and Answer session from the floor provided a further chance to raise more issues.
The Inishowen Rivers Trust was formed in late 2015 after a number of public meetings to gauge interest and explain the concept of a rivers trust. There are currently seven trusts in the Republic of Ireland and a number of further groups exploring the idea. All trusts operate as charities and provide training, education and opportunities for communities to reconnect with nature and enhance our environment.
There are a wide range of statutory agencies involved in the monitoring, promotion and enhancement of our natural waters and this Who’s Who event aimed to help communities understand what these roles are and what agencies operate in Inishowen. 27 statutory agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and affiliations attended the event and provided a synopsis of their role. This information has been put together as a 20-page directory.
“It was a great night and a brilliant opportunity to meet the people working on the ground. Everyone was there – landowners, fishermen, farmers, walkers, artists, environmentalists, bird watchers and all those who want to learn more about our local waters. We hope this directory booklet will be a useful resource for communities in the future who wish to get involved in water projects. They can find out who to contact for support or advice.” -Larry Coyle, Inishowen Rivers Trust Director
The Inishowen Rivers Trust would like to thank the Waters & Communities Office for funding this event and supporting the work of the trust. The Trust would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the event, to the speakers, singers, greeters, agencies, printers, hotel staff and all the community groups that turned out with an open mind and a willingness to learn and share our thoughts and ideas.
Get involved with Inishowen Rivers Trust
You can learn more about the work of the Inishowen Rivers Trust and how to get involved by visiting their website at www.inishowenriverstrust.com
Inishowen Rivers Trusts – Who’s Who on Inishowen Rivers?
Huge credit to Inishowen Rivers trusts for preparing this useful little book – a handy directory of organisations involved in the monitoring, enhancement and promotion of the lakes, rivers and coastal areas of Inishowen.
This document could be a very useful template for other communities to follow – you can download a copy from www.catchments.ie/download/whos- inishowen-rivers