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Minister Announces New Partnership With Enniscoe House for Co Mayo Nature Reserve

25th July 2021
Susan Kellett and her son DJ (centre) greet Minister of State Malcolm Noonan (right) at Enniscoe Estate
Susan Kellett and her son DJ (centre) greet Minister of State Malcolm Noonan (right) at Enniscoe Estate

Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan has announced a partnership agreement with Enniscoe House, in Co Mayo that will see the establishment of a new nature reserve on the site.

The reserve would be jointly managed by the owners, the Kellet Family, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to provide for the conservation, education and enhancement of the estate and in particular its vulnerable aquatic wildlife.

Enniscoe Estate borders Lough Conn, a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive, where Atlantic salmon, freshwater pearl mussels, otters and white-clawed crayfish are the qualifying interest for a potential nature reserve designation.

It’s also designated a Special Protection Area under the birds directive, where breeding common scoter, common gulls and overwintering white-fronted geese are present.

In addition, Lough Conn is a legally protected Wildfowl Sanctuary under the Wildlife Acts. The rare Irish red squirrel was recorded in the woodlands in 2019.

Minister Noonan acknowledged the commitment and dedication of the Kellet family towards managing their lands for nature, heritage and community.

Enniscoe House in Co Mayo, the grounds of which border Lough ConnEnniscoe House in Co Mayo, the grounds of which border Lough Conn

“I’m deeply impressed by what I’ve seen here at Enniscoe House – the Kellet family’s love and care for one of the great houses of the West over generations is inspiring.,” he said.

“The efforts they have made to protect the cultural integrity of the buildings, the work done to develop a sustainable rural enterprise, and the ongoing initiatives to protect and enhance biodiversity on the site are all to be commended.

“I thank the Kellet family for their foresight in collaborating with the National Parks and Wildlife Service at Enniscoe. These partnerships will deliver benefits to communities, nature and our built and cultural heritage.”

Susan Kellet, whose family has owned and managed Enniscoe House for 14 generations, commented: “I am delighted to have entered into this partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service and Minister Noonan. It seems an excellent match between the work of NPWS and my own ambitions to preserve and enhance this unique corner of Mayo.

“Enniscoe House and Estate has been in the ownership of my family since the 17th century. While the estate is now only a fraction of its original size, the essential core remains. The present house dates from the 1790s, a plain exterior concealing an elegant Georgian interior.

“I have been running Enniscoe House and estate for over 30 years and my son is now taking over much of the work. He joins me in thanking the minister, and the staff of NPWS, for the opportunity to create this relationship between a private owner of an historic house and estate and the department. We look forward to many fruitful years of working together”.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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