WEST CORK could see the development of a new wildlife and environmental interpretation centre.
The Clogheen Marsh and Clonakilty Biodiversity Group has secured Leader funding for a feasibility study to examine the potential for the development of such a centre in Clonakilty.
The group say that the appointed consultants will examine and assess the level (if any) at which such a centre might operate.
Their vision is for a high-end centre that will act as a collaborative, educational, social, and information hub for locals as well as domestic and international visitors.
The possibility of developing a wildlife trail in the area will also form part of the study.
Cork South West TD Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan said that it is hoped that such a centre “could be a huge tourism and education opportunity for the people in and around Clonakilty”.
He added: “Right at our doorstep in Clonakilty and across west Cork we have such a vast array of wildlife, whether its nesting seabirds or the unbelievable whale and dolphin watching that we have so close to our coast.
“We believe there is an opportunity to capitalise on that from a tourism point of view but also to get younger generations very interested in wildlife and to be able to bring them to a centre and teach them about all the incredible spectacles that we have on our doorstep.”
The Clogheen Marsh and Clonakilty Biodiversity Group is also working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to assess the potential for developing the nearby Clogheen Marsh as an accessible wildlife reserve.
The feasibility study will also examine means of linking these projects, such that visitors to the centre might also get to experience the bird reserve and wildlife trail.
People are being urged to share their views and opinions on these plans.
Ciarán Cronin, Chairperson of the group said: “We want to engage people with the wonder and joy of wildlife, by linking them on a deeply personal level”.
To share your thoughts, complete the online survey on the ‘Clogheen Marsh & Clonakilty Biodiversity Group’ Facebook page.
More in this section