Timothy Curran and his family run a mixed grazing enterprise on the banks of Derriana Lake. Derriana Lake drains west into the Commeragh River which is an important river for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel. The farmland is made up of a wide variety of habitats ranging from wet grasslands and improved grasslands, traditional hay meadows, wet and dry heaths, blanket bogs, mature native woodlands and old stone walls. The farm currently consists of 100 breeding ewes and 10 suckler cows. The majority of the farmland slopes down towards the lake. The slope and wet nature of this land can sometimes make it tricky to manage livestock without comprising water quality. I am nominating Timothy Curran to the Farming for Nature Awards because he has been very proactive and innovative in tackling some water quality issues that were noted on his farm when he joined the Pearl Mussel Project in 2019. He has installed numerous crossing points on drains and streams, fenced off other watercourses, installed peat plugs and leaky dams. All these actions have greatly improved water quality on the farm as well as having a positive impact on the quality of the terrestrial habitats. Year on year since the Pearl Mussel Project commenced Timothy has added new supporting actions improving water quality and biodiversity further on his farm. He has also hosted farmer training events. These events have influenced other neighbouring farmers into taking positive nature friendly actions on their farms. As Timothy has the skills and machinery to carry out the tasks listed above he has helped out his neighbours directly when they are installing their supporting actions also.
Nominator: Stephen O Shea, Catchment Officer, The Pearl Mussel Project