09 Dec 2021

Stunning views and biodiversity of North Leitrim under threat

Stunning views and biodiversity of North Leitrim under threat

Picture shows concerned locals at the sand martin habitat on Dough Mountain, L-R Sean Bell, John Bell and Sheila O'Keeffe. Front: Vincent Sheehan

Stunning views out over Lough Melvin and Fermanagh to one side, Benbo mountain, Munakill lake and Glencar Valley to another, that's what visitors to Dough mountain near Manorhamilton can expect.

On the top, visitors can look down on Benbo mountain, the last outcrop of the Ox mountains from this bird's eye view.

The biggest challenge is whether to look left, right, up or down on this wonderful hill where you are spoiled for choice.

Speaking of birds' eyes, the old quarry is home to a colony of sand martins who are busy coming and going these days tending to their young, getting them fuelled up for their flight to Africa.

Overhead you can often spot a majestic hen harrier. Underfoot  are the wonderful heathers, mosses, day flying moths and the plethora of flora and fauna associated with this blanket bog National Heritage Area.

It is for these reasons that locals are so concerned about the proposed erection of a weather station so close to the sand martin habitat and to the proposed plan to erect an industrial scale wind farm development on the mountain.

The disruption to the wildlife and the residents is causing a lot of anxiety.

At a time when climate change mitigation is foremost on everyone's mind and an onus on us all to do our bit, a development such as this, with the known inefficiencies of onshore wind farms and loss of biodiversity associated with same is considered a very shortsighted view to renewable energy by many.

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