See all the latest news about the Pearl Mussel Project. Remember you can also check out the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter page (links opposite).

PMP Fertiliser & Slurry Guidance published

Slurry leaflet webiste

Following on from recent reports of high algae content and high ammonia levels causing distress to Pearl Mussels in some of our catchments, the PMP team have designed a Best Practice guidance leaflet for slurry and fertiliser application.

These leaflets will be distributed to all PMP participants over the course of the summer at our farmer training events. We hope this will enable us to have open discussions with farmers on best practice and help come up with practical solutions for individual farms.

We are also delighted to be launching our environmental workshops this summer, these are a pilot measure within the programme targeting specific issues within a catchment and helping aid discussion and knowledge transfer with the farmers.

The Fertiliser & Slurry Guidance Leaflet PDF can be downloaded here.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #ruralnetwork @DeptAgriFoodMarine ‪@Teagasc @LAWProteam @farmingfornature‬

New PMP Assistant Catchment Officer appointed in the SW

Michael Chapman

Michael Chapman PMPs newest Team member joined as Assistant Catchment Officer in the SW last week. 

Michael graduated as a Wildlife Biologist/Ecologist from the Institute of Technology Tralee/ Munster Technological University in 2020. Since graduating he has worked within the Environmental Consultancy sector and has particular experience in relation to water quality and aquatic ecology. Coming from rural Tipperary, Michael has a keen interest in biodiversity and sustainable land use/farming. 

Having recently joined the Pearl Mussel Project Team, he is looking forward to working closely with the local farming community and assisting in achieving the programmes objectives.

Freshwater Pearl Mussel Education Pack 2 - Biodiversity

PMP Ed Pack 2

PMP have launched the second in their series of education resource packs for primary school children ( This new education pack is focused on the theme of biodiversity, and follows on from the first education pack that looked at the Freshwater Pearl Mussel.

The biodiversity education pack includes an on-line story map, where students can learn more about biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and the importance of protecting biodiversity.

The biodiversity story map is complimented by an activity pack containing a series of activity sheets which teachers or students can download here.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPAgri #RuralNetwork #agriculture_ie

What a difference a year (and a bit) makes...

Bundorragha recovery

Mary McAndrew was out in the Bundorragha this week to assess our pilot blanket bog restoration site in the catchment to see what effects the removal of sheep grazing was having on this blanket bog. 

The pictures say it all... the surface of the bog has mostly recovered and revegetated and bare peat areas significantly reduced in extent. Bare peat areas are liable to erosion during wet weather which can result in peat silt being washed into the river where Freshwater Pearl Mussel occur. It looks like this threat has been significantly reduced from this site thanks to the help from local farmers.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #ruralnetwork @DeptAgriFoodMarine ‪@teagasc @LAWProteam #IrishFarmersJournal  #agriculture @IrishFarmersAssociation @Agriland @farmingfornature

Temporary Agri-environmental Position with the Pearl Mussel Project


Job Title: Assistant Catchment Officer (Ecology / Agriculture)

Details: The Pearl Mussel Project is looking to recruit a temporary assistant catchment officer to work on our locally led results-based agri-environmental scheme for farmers (further info: The role will be based out of our Kerry office (Kenmare). The work will require a high proportion of time spent out of the office, working in four of our project catchments in south Kerry and west Cork. The position would suit a recent ecology or agricultural graduate. Training will be provided.

Salary: Equivalent of €25,000 per annum, plus travel and subsistence expenses. 

Term of Employment: 6 Months, commencing April 2021

Minimum requirements:

  • Degree in ecology or agriculture (or related discipline)
  • Full clean driving license
  • Self-motivated, with a proven ability to work under your own initiative
  • Have a positive and flexible approach to work

The following experience would be an advantage:

  • Knowledge and awareness of agri-environmental schemes
  • Knowledge of farmland habitats (peatland & grassland) and their indicator species
  • Understanding of the environmental requirements of Freshwater Pearl Mussel

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with habitat assessments and farm scoring
  • Verifying implementation of farm measures
  • Provide advice to farmers on implementing farm measures (under instruction from the Catchment Officer)
  • Assist with training of farmers and farm advisors
  • Assist with monitoring of environmental targets (terrestrial and aquatic)
  • Other duties as may be assigned by the Catchment Officer or Project Manager

How to apply:

Send cover letter, CV, and names of two referees by Friday 16th April to

Pearl Mussel Project Newsletter: Issue 3

Screenshot 2021-03-30 at 12.40.17

March 2021: The Pearl Mussel Project have produced a short farm newsletter with information on some of the latest developments within the programme, including reports of farmer meetings, our education programme, farmer news and a profile of Ian Kenny one our farm advisors. 

Download your copy of Pearl Mussel Project News, Issue 3 here

We hope to produce further issues of Pearl Mussel Project News during the programme. So check in again to see the latest programme developments.

If you would like to submit an article, photograph or item for inclusion in the newsletter which relates the programme email Mary McAndrew at

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #ruralnetwork

Introduction to the Freshwater Pearl Mussel - educational video resource

Did you know that Freshwater Pearl Mussels are endangered, that they can live to be over 100 years old, or that they rely on a fish to complete their life cycle?  

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing species check out our new education videos which cover the biology and ecology of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, its importance to our river systems, and conservation measures being taken to help protect this endangered species.

Full length video version (21 mins) - watch it here

Short length video version (6 mins) - watch it here

FPM Ed Video blue

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPAgri #RuralNetwork @DeptAgriFoodMarine 

On-line Farmer Training Meeting Feb 2021


With the on-going Covid-19 situation PMP held two online participant farmer training meetings in the SW and NW via Zoom. Over 160 farmers attended… which was a great turn out and represented all 8 catchments in the PMP programme.

We were very pleased with the feedback provided by the farmers, see graphs from the online questionnaire below.  In summary the feedback confirms that the locally led results-based approach is popular amongst farmers and is providing positive environmental benefits.


#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPAgri #RuralNetwork @DeptAgriFoodMarine @teagasc 

Pearl Mussel Programme Payments 2020

PMP Catchment Photo Collage

PMP have started issuing 2020 annual payments to farmers under our results-based programme, and hope to have most payments out to participants before Christmas. 

In all, over 450 of our participant farmers will receive their payments over the next few weeks.

Many participants will receive increased payments this year, partly due to review of payment rates but also increased scores on farms due to actions completed and changes in farm management.

€1.2 million is being paid out to farmers in our catchment areas where farmers are receiving a result-based payment that reflects the environmental outputs of their land, and in particular their contribution towards maintaining freshwater pearl mussel and their pristine river habitat.

The Pearl Mussel Project is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) Locally Led Scheme. The Project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as part of Ireland's Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPagri #RuralNetwork @DeptAgriFoodMarine #EPACatchments #teagasc #watersandcommunities #IrishFarmersJournal  #agriculture @IrishFarmersAssociation #Agriland

EIPs and the delivery of ecosystem services publication

RBAPS paper RIA 2020

Derek McLoughlin (PMP) together with Amanda Browne (Caomhnú Árann ) and Caroline A. Sullivan (Hen Harrier Project) have published an excellent paper entitled: The delivery of ecosystem services through results-based agri-environment payment schemes (RBPS): three Irish case studies. The paper was published in Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The paper gives an insight into the opertation of the three EIPs and shows how they provide a model by which this wide range of ecosystem services can be delivered through a results-based agri-environment (AE) payments approach, where farmers are rewarded for the quality of habitat that they maintain on their farms in addition to the food products that they produce.

You can download and read the publication here.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIPAgri #RuralNetwork #agriculture_ie Caomhnú Árann  ‪‪‬Hen Harrier Project

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