"The mountain didn’t get that way without work". The landscape grew to look like it does now because the farmers could get more money from mutton and wool than they could from timber; and when the timber was gone, they dug up all the accessible peat for fuel. Species which supported, or at least didn't interfere with, sheep did alright, others maybe not so good. It used to be good shooting country and every 12th August, guns would go up stairs looking to bag a few grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. But that's all over now. Grouse do well a) if you don't shoot 'em all and b) if the landscape is managed to suit their particular needs. Something changed on our hills from about 25 years ago that put the grouse off their feed; or at least off the hill. In searching for our sheep this Summer, I've been up-starting a slightly smaller moor-land bird the golden plover Pluvialis apricaria. That species is also on the conservation concern red list in Ireland.
I heard that, with €1million+ sloshing around the landscape, there might be jobs for
I was chatting to one of them at the end of term Christmas party at The Institute. He told me about a fascinating consultancy that he'd been involved in. If there is any sort of a spill of rain building on a longish wet spell, then the town of Graiguenamanagh gets washed out. Last major case was 3 years ago under the impact of Storm Frank. The problem is the Duiske: a tumbling mountain stream that rises on the sides of Mount Brandon and hits the River Barrow at right angles. That stream was early seen as a source of hydro-power and suggested the site of an ancient Cistercian monastery. The town grew up round the abbey and Main Street runs parallel to the stream. Buildings have appeared on both side of the stream which is now confined in a sort of open drain.
to let a potent image sink into the heads of the county council. Nobody is suggesting bringing beavers to Ireland - there is no evidence that they were ever part of the Irish fauna. But maybe some holding dams could be installed across the water-courses on the hillside above the town. Please make sure that they are properly constructed because a dam failure is far worse than any floods which occurred before its construction - ask Dolgarrog. It wouldn't be as a big a project as Oroville, but a series of dams has the capacity to even out the flow of water so that it is Goldiloxian = just right for almost all the time. Heck, they might even be induced to produce a bit of electricity.