By excluding livestock from rivers, fencing reduces pollutants such as bacteria, nutrients, and silt getting into the water. Since June, IRD Duhallow have erected 9.2km of new fencing and 17 cattle drinking troughs, with more lined up, at no cost to landowners. As an added incentive, landowners in the GLAS agri-environmental scheme receive payment for the fencing work done by IRD Duhallow. Fencing back 2m allows cattle to graze under the fence line, but still leaves enough of a buffer zone, allowing vegetation to grow. This vegetation helps to protect river banks from erosion, which means less land in lost to the river in the long term, and less silt gets into the river. “Having a clean riverbed is vital for a number of vulnerable species, including Atlantic salmon, trout and pearl mussels,” said an IRD Duhallow spokesperson. “However, by excluding livestock from the river, we also remove their source of drinking water, and for this reason we have been installing cattle drinks in the fields that we have fenced.”


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