William O’Connor runs a suckler farm in Kanturk County Cork, alongside his wife Margaret and son Denis. A lifelong farmer, William believes in operating a sustainable farming system where protecting the environment goes hand in hand with his traditional farming methods. William manages a suckler herd of 40 continental cows and he farms 80 acres of mixed land.
William is an active participant in the Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP. This project aims to protect, restore and enhance the high-status objective rivers and streams in the Allow river catchment. As part of his commitment to this project, William has implemented a number of sustainability and biodiversity measures on his farm. These include the implementation of silt traps and swales, as well as the installation of a pond on the land in order to prevent silt run-off into the river Allow. He has also planted a number of hedgerows in targeted nutrient flow pathways to act as a nutrient break.
The river which runs through William's farm attracts lots of wildlife to the farm including otters, herons and ducks. William is a believer in peer-to-peer learning and has often hosted farm walks on his land, enabling fellow farmers to learn more about the actions he is taking to support nature on his farm.
William is a beef suckler farmer from Coolageela, Kanturk, Co. Cork. He farms the land in partnership with his wife Margaret and son Denis. He is a strong believer in operating a sustainable farming system where protecting the environment goes hand in hand with his traditional farming methods. He is currently a project participant in the Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP project. This voluntary project aims to protect, restore and enhance the high status objective rivers and streams in the Allow river catchment. William joined the project at its inception stage in August 2019. He has subsequently implemented a number of measures outlined in his farm sustainability and biodiversity plan. These measures were identified for implementation on Williams land to prevent silt run-off to the river Allow and to enhance biodiversity by creating additional habitats. A number of dual purpose beneficiary measures were installed along the farm yard connection drain to the river Allow. William has allowed the project to trial new innovative measures such as a duel chamber sediment pond, silt traps, and, swales. Others trialled measures implemented included farm roadway water bars, cambering and silt trap/sump to prevent silt run-off. William has planted a number of hedgerows in targeted nutrient flow pathways to act as a nutrient break. He has sacrificed a portion of his farmland to implement these measures to prevent silt run-off into the river Allow which is including in the Blackwater River SAC with species of conservation interest including the Pearl mussel, Atlantic Salmon and Otter. He has led by example in implemented these measures and has made his farm available at all times for demonstration visits by his fellow farmers and industry stakeholders.
Nominator: Michael Morrissey, Agri Ecology Specialist, IRD Duhallow