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).

Freshwater Pearl Mussel presentation in Sneem

We were delighted to give a talk on Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Sneem last night as part of #BiodiversityWeek2019. Great so many interested members of community there. Many thanks to Jane O'Sullivan for organising and sharing her photos.

KerryLIFE Kerry Local Authorities.

Sneem 2019 PMP Talkb

Sneem 2019 PMP Talk2b

Field training with farm advisors in Blackwater, County Kerry

Had a great two days field training with farm advisors in Blackwater, County Kerry. These 28 experienced advisors have now successfully completed our training. They will play a critical part in the successful roll out of our results-based Programme. Training centred around developing ecological skills amongst advisors to enable scoring of habitats and watercourses to determine a results-based payment for delivery of environmental quality. Thanks to the Blackwater Tavern for providing lunch and refreshments and thanks to Michael Harrington for allowing us to demonstrate our methods on his farm. Michael farms high nature value farmland (mix of blanket bog, heath, and grassland) bordering the Kerry Blackwater River, which supports one of the largest remaining freshwater pearl Mussel populations in Western Europe.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @agriculture_ie

Farm advisor Field Training Kerry 2019

Over 420 Farmer Expression of Interest forms submitted to the Pearl Mussel Programme

The PMP are delighted to announce that more than 420 Expression of Interest forms were received by the 30th of April this year, the closing date for applications for 2019. All further expression of interest forms received after this date will be held over for consideration until 2020

EOI Forms POst

The project team have been busy assessing the applications and preparing contract offers for those selected for entry in 2019. This involves looking at each landholding and giving it a priority ranking based on its proximity to pearl mussel populations and the amount of watercourses relative to land area in the holding. 

Those of highest priority will be offered the first places on the programme and will be sent a contract offer in early May. These contract offers will include a map of the land holding, divided into Pearl Mussel Programme habitat plots which will be scored annually to determine participant payments. 

We have been delighted with the level of interest in the Programme and hope that there will be a high level of uptake of contract offers. 

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @agriculture_ie 

KerryLIFE Conference 2019

58616582 1071241159753345 5080047202714255360 n

So much for a quiet Easter !

Not much rest for PMP catchment officer Mary McAndrew this time of year, it being the lambing season. As Mary says “Farming can be a difficult occupation but one of the things I love is that every day is so varied ... you end up doing so many different things each day”.

“I went home for Easter to ‘rest’ ... or at least that was the plan! My dad and brothers sheep and suckler farm is on Belmullet. We have a mixture of  sheep breeds on the farm, from my brothers pure bred Suffolk flock, purebred Texels, crossbred ewes, and my favourites the Cheviots. We were down to our final 10 ewes to lamb”.

“On Saturday evening, my final ewe lambed, unfortunately the lambs internal organs started coming out through a hole in the navel, so we rang the vet who didn’t give us much hope, but we felt we had to try. So myself, dad and the lamb headed for the vets to get stitched up. The lamb sucked on the ewe when we got back and we thought we had a fighter. But sadly the lamb died on Sunday evening… the joys of sheep farming”.

Mary and her dad bought a cheviot ram each at the sales in Blessington last October so now the competition is on to see who has the better lambs, a couple of hers flock are pictured (the ones marked with the blue M’s).

The rest of Mary’s weekend was the usual round of feeding, getting sheep and lambs out to grass and checking on stock. "I love the time I get to spend at home, even though it’s always busy” says Mary.

#pearlmusselproject #RuralNetwork #farmlife  #wicklowcheviotsheep #lambing2019 #sheep365 

IMG 7441
IMG 7322
IMG 7344
IMG 7436
IMG 7465
IMG 7482
lamb pic 2

EIP-AGRI Operational Group Launch & Workshop

The PMP attended and spoke about the Pearl Mussel Programme at the EIP workshop and book launch in Dublin yesterday. 

Dr. Paddy Crushell, Project Manager from the Pearl Mussel Project and Fergal Monaghan from the Hen Harrier project both gave great talks to the group on where both projects are and some of the lessons learned so far in these projects. The workshop also gave a great opportunity to meet the other EIP groups working throughout the country and share experiences.

A new booklet on Ireland's locally-led EIP-AGRI Operational Group Projects was launched by the Minister Michael Creed TD and can be downloaded at:

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork 

EIP Agri Launch Dublin 17 4 2019 a

EIP Agri Launch Dublin 17 4 2019 b

FINAL REMINDER - Submit your Pearl Mussel Project form by the 30th April 2019

IMG 7172

The PMP would like to remind all farmers interested in joining the Pearl Mussel Programme in 2019, that the closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest Form is fast approaching on the 30th April 2019

Our catchment officer Mary McAndrew was out yesterday in the Owenriff  meeting farmers who hadn’t yet submitted an expression of interest form for the project. She got 5 new Expression of Interest Forms from local farmers and a farmer took some forms for his neighbours who were at work.

So don’t delay and register your interest in joining the scheme by completing and returning your Expression of Interest Form (PMPF1) which you can download from our website and check with your neighbours that they have done the same !

Call us on 064 6640685 to request a form or get your from our website at:

Applications received after 30th April 2019 will be held over until the 2020 round of considerations. 

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork 

Reeks EIP project team visit the Preal Mussel Project

ReeksAerialView (4)

Last friday the Pearl Mussel Project had a visit from the Reeks EIP project team. Both projects aim to enhance the nature value of the Reeks area in Co. Kerry, Ireland's highest mountain range, while rewarding farmers for the delivery of this valuable public service. 

We wish Patricia and her team well in the roll out of their project and look forward to working together in the coming years.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @agriculture_ie @MacGillycuddyReeksForum

Pearl Mussel Programme - Terms and Conditions published


The Pearl Mussel Project have published a new document which sets out the Terms and Conditions of the Pearl Mussel Programme for farmers interested in joining the programme. Further information on the administration and operation of the Programme is available on the project website (

The programme aims to address the challenges of adapting the results based payments approach to target aquatic species, namely the endangered freshwater pearl mussel. It is an exciting opportunity for farmers to derive an additional income from their land and helps to secure the economic viability of agricultural enterprises. The Terms & Conditions booklet includes 29 sections covering all aspects of the programme. 

The Pearl Mussel Project is a component of the European Innovation Partnerships initiative under the Rural Development Programme (2014- 2020) under the remit of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 Of The European Parliament And Of The Council. 

You can download a digital copy of our Terms and Conditions and other programme documentation from the Publications page on our website or write / phone and request a copy.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @agriculture_ie

Submit your Expression of Interest Form

The PMP would like to remind all farmers interested in joining the Pearl Mussel Programme in 2019, that the closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest Form is the 30th April 2019

So don’t delay and register your interest in joining the scheme by completing and returning your Expression of Interest Form (PMPF1) today. Get the form here.

Applications received after 30th April 2019 will be held over until the 2020 round of considerations.

© Pearl Mussel Project Ltd 2018