Killarney National Park Woodland Conservation Project
Description: Killarney National Park in Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland is 10,000 hectares in size and comprises mountains, lakes and woodland. It has an extensive range of trees, plants and wildlife. In the 19th century the rhododendron tree/bush (Rhododendron ponticum) was introduced and this has proved to be a highly invasive and destructive tree and has threatened to colonise large areas of the park. The rhododendron is threatening the bio diversity of the park and many native species of trees, shrubs, mosses are under threat.
Type of Work: Volunteers will work on rhododendron control in remote areas of the park. This can involve stem treating mature plants with small tools, the picking of seedlings and cutting of saplings. National Park uses sharp tools (hatchets, loppers and secateurs) and a herbicide (glyphosphate based diluted solution) as part of their strategy to control the rhododendron plants. The volunteers will be required to use these methods. Full training on the safe use of these methods and safety equipment will be provided by National Park.
Accommodation: In a modern hostel in the park, dormitory style. Please bring your sleeping bag and a pillowcase.
Requirements: As the terrain is quite difficult, there is no wheelchair access.
Approximate Location: 5km from Killarney, Co. Kerry in the southwest of Ireland.
Notes: The midge fly is widespread in the park as well as ticks so volunteers must be prepared to use a strong insect repellent and wear a protective net when working. The park will provide nets, gloves and rubber boots. Volunteers are also required to wear long sleeves and trousers while working. The terrain is difficult and tough, and volunteers need to be fit enough to handle this. For example there could be up to a 30 minute uphill walk to the worksite over rough ground. No WiFi coverage in the park, but it is availiable in a local pub 15 mins from the hostel.