Kerry is Ireland’s wild west. A land which is largely undisturbed by man, left to flourish in its natural beauty. While the rest of the world expanded into urban sprawl, the people of Kerry fought to preserve its green rolling hills and rugged coastline from the influence of overdevelopment. It’s for this reason that Kerry has become a treasured escape for millions who wish to regain their sense of connection with the wilderness. The recent establishment of a new national park in Kerry, Páirc Náisiúnta na Mara, Ciarraí, goes to show Kerry’s persistence in it’s efforts to preserve our wonderful county.


Community-Driven Preservation

The preservation of Kerry is no accident, and can be attributed to the hundreds of community-driven efforts on the part of the Kerry people to maintain the gift of the land they’ve been given. These efforts have not gone unnoticed, largely because of their incredible success. The county has been so well preserved that its untouched wilderness often inspires people from around the world to join in these projects of conservation, out of a shared respect for earths wonders. Whether you’re passionate about the natural landscapes or the creatures that inhabit it, Kerry is the perfect spot to visit for those looking to contribute to the conservation of our planet.


Wild Mind Festival:

Wild Mind Festival in Fenit is a great example of participatory conservation efforts happening in Kerry. The festival takes every April. There are several in-festival events with a focus on conservation, from a live podcast discussing Bird Life in Kerry, to in person talks on the conservation of local species. For those in Kerry this weekend, Wild Mind Festival is the perfect way to contribute to Kerry’s preservation.


Maharees Conservation Association:

Across the bay from the Fenit based Wild Mind Festival is the magnificent Maharees Archipelago, which is where the Maharees Conservation Association have worked extensively to protect their splendid sand dunes. Locals have banded together with the shared goal of ensuring the survival of these sand dunes which have become an anchor for local life and the tourism industry in the area. For those looking to get involved, the organization runs regular operations, such as cleans or Marram grass planting, which helps protect the dunes from further erosion.


Project Tralee - Irish Elasmobranch & Angel Shark Project:

Our new national park will be Irelands first marine national park, which is welcome news to the many marine conservation efforts taking place along our coasts. One such effort is the Irish Elasmobranch Group and the Angel Shark Project working on Project Tralee, which aims to restore and protect the population of Angel Sharks in our waters. Tralee Bay was once a hotspot for these incredible creatures, and is still considered one of the best places in Ireland to make sightings. Anyone with an interest in the conservation of these sharks is encouraged to report sightings to the Angel Shark Project.


Dinnseanchas Project from

Rewilding Ireland is an idea that has grown in popularity in recent years. The aims to promote this outcome with the Dinnseanchas Project, which recently involved the gathering of artists in the uplands of Co. Kerry, to tackle the challenges biodiversity loss and agricultural policy. Keep an eye on if rewilding Ireland is something your passionate about.


Brilliant Ballybunion & MOYA Ballybunion:

Brilliant Ballybunion do tremendous work in their effort to protect the biodiversity and local food systems in the North Kerry area. They explore issues like climate change and biodiversity loss through artistic expression in their workshops. This may they celebrated biodiversity with their Dawn Chorus event as part of the MOYA Ballybunion Festival, where they set out at 5AM on a clear summers morning into the wild to experience the scintillating sounds of the bird song on a summers morning. MOYA also hosted a climate action event, Brilliant Ballybunion Goes Wild, which was an evening of radical hospitality, creativity, and music, at the Barna Way.


These incredibly engaging and thoughtful projects have outlined the conservation and tourism can indeed strike a balance, with a legacy for next generations to inherit. It can be fun, participative, impactful and good for the earth and the community. 

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