Connemara landowner donates to environmental trust

Biodiversity corridor plan for Little Killary

Little Killary shoreline, Connemara, where landowner Eileen Coyne has donated 14 acres to the Green Sod Ireland Trust to create a biodiversity corridor – one of a series planned by the trust

Little Killary shoreline, Connemara, where landowner Eileen Coyne has donated 14 acres to the Green Sod Ireland Trust to create a biodiversity corridor – one of a series planned by the trust

Fri, Mar 29, 2013, 16:29

A Connemara landowner has donated 14 acres to an environmental trust to create a biodiversity “corridor”.

Landowner Eileen Coyne, from Salrock, Connemara, has signed over the property at Little Killary on the Galway-Mayo border to the Green Sod Ireland Trust as part of a project to create “wild acres” right across the island.

It is the second such donation to the Galway-based trust. The first involved a five-acre piece of land in Co Carlow.

Sheila Gallagher, chief executive of the Green Sod Trust, says the aim of the corridor plan is to protect Ireland’s rich biodiversity for future generations.

A biodiversity study of the area will be undertaken initially with research students from NUI Galway.

Ms Gallagher praised Ms Coyne for her generosity. The 14 acres embrace “many distinct ecosystems”, she says, from wet heath and rocky outcrops to native woodland and a sheltered rocky shoreline along Little Killary.

Ms Coyne has explained that she took the decision because she does not feel one can “ever really say you ‘own’ land”.

“You are a caretaker only and, during your short time on the planet, you can only choose to nurture the land or to abuse it,” Ms Coyne says.

“I feel people globally are waking up to how the planet and the species living on it are all closely inter-linked and inter-dependent.”

Ms Coyne says she hopes the donation will encourage other landowners to “look again at their wider responsibilities” and “give thought to donating a site to animal welfare or environmentally-sound charitable organisations”.

Green Sod Ireland was established in 2007, with headquarters in Galway, to establish wildlife corridors and to engage in educational initiatives.

The trust believes that the “phenomenal pressure on willdlife and ecosystems” has resulted in a “rapid loss of biodiversity”, driven by “urban development, intensive management of land and over-use of natural resources”.

greensodlandtrust.ie

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