The Corrib Beo Partnership plans to include on our new and developing website, a comprehensive fact- ﬁle of the many different and interesting facets of the lake and its hinterlands. The availability of this information will not alone inform and stimulate conversation, but also fulﬁl a key role in a dynamic process leading from greater awareness through to appreciation and respect, pride in place and disposition for participation and positive action.
This data-base can also play an effective, complimentary role to the recently launched environmental, “education for sustainability”, programme developed by EcoEd 4 All (developed collaboratively by a team of interdisciplinary experts from Presentation College Headford, NUIG, SSE Electricity and the Corrib Beo Partnership).
It will further provide source material for highlighting and mapping points of interest on the Corrib as well as providing a valuable assist to the Partnership’s plans to create and develop a distinctive “Corrib Cultural Identity”.
Ultimately, this exercise can contribute to the realisation of the type of international recognition afforded to the Lake District in Cumbria (UNESCO World Heritage Status) and to enjoyment of the huge social, economic and conservation beneﬁts of such an accolade.
Corrib Beo Partnership plans to hold extensive consultations with relevant authorities and experts over the coming months to complete this work.
Here are some of examples of Corrib Facts we will be showing after consultations with some key stakeholders of this region
• The lake has a rich history and heritage, dating back to over 5,000 years ago. Recent archaeological studies have shown the remains of ancient logboats found on the bed of the lake. Replicas have been built which were shown at our Heritage week visit to Inchagoill in august 2019 (NUI Galway Archaeology department)
• In the mid 1980s, up to 20,000 birds were recorded in the Corrib region. In the past this has increased up to nearly 40,000. The Corrib region is a favourable spot on the journey for many migratory birds (NPWS)
• After the Shannon and Lee river Hydroelectric dams, the river Clare is the most engineered waterbody in the country. This main tributary for the Lough Corrib was first “Improved” in the 18th century and changed to facilitate transport and trade plans. The Corrib-Clare Arterial drainage work done in the 1950s and 60s has added to biodiversity loss and flooding. Water flow speeds have increased due to this work, which increased the flood risk in towns like Claregalway in 2009 and 2015. Surface water ecology has been most damaged by this work (Ecofact.ie)
• Lough Corrib is world renowned for recreational angling and is regarded as one of the best spots in Europe. (Eco Eye 2017)
• Our native plant species of Stonewort is a very important habitat for Salmon and Trout. The size of the lake and its other watercourses makes this ecosystem perfect for spawning grounds for these fish. (Eco Eye, 2017)
• Eutrophication, invasive species and pollution of these shallow waters on the south part of the lake have choked the lake’s habitats, so that the trout have now moved to deeper waters in the northern parts of the waterbody. (LAWCO 2019.)
• Water quality on the lake has fluctuated over the past several decades. Going from slightly polluted in the late 1980s and then a great decline in the 1990s. The lake was recorded to be in poor status from 2007 up to 2015. 2020 has marked the first year in decades where the quality of the lakes water has been recorded as being in a good quality status. (Breatnach S and J S Fairley UCG 1993, catchments.ie)