The Duncannon Blue Flag Farming & Communities Scheme

Total budget: 550,000 Euro

Main funding sourceRural development 2014-2020 for Operational Groups (in the sense of Art 56 of Reg.1305/2013)
Project typeOperational group
Starting date2018
End date2021

The project aims to contribute to the recovery of the Blue Flag status at Duncannon beach, Co. Wexford

To achieve this goal, the project will pursue the following specific objectives:

Sustainably restore, protect and enhance the quality of the bathing and riverine waters at Duncannon by reducing pollution from rural agricultural and domestic sources whilst also protecting farm incomes;

Develop an effective model for future sustainable management of similar catchments &;

Foster positive relations between the farmers and householders in the catchment area and the local natural landscape, particularly the water environment and associated biodiversity.

The project activities are:

Creating farm-specific ‘Pollution Potential Zone’ (PPZ) plans for each farm.

Providing farmers with a full-time ‘Sustainability Manager’ who will help participant farmers achieve the objectives of the project by guiding them through their PPZ plans and by developing and delivering a number of knowledge exchange initiatives.

Monitoring farm practice change and water quality in the wider catchment area

Creating a local awareness programme for domestic waste water treatment systems &;

Developing community wide engagement with the project with the objective of creating a sense of local ownership, responsibility &; appreciation for the local water environment.

Description of the context of the project: 

The elevated bacteria levels of bathing water quality at Duncannon beach together with the loss of its ‘Blue Flag’ status of environmental excellence in 2007 have had a major impact on the tourism potential of the area. For example, bathing prohibition notices had to be enforced as recent as August 2017, during the week of the Hooked KiteFest, due to excessive levels of Intestinal Enterococci (IE) in the bathing water.

Additional information: 

The expected results and practical recommendations of the project are:

Improvement in the bacterial, chemical and ecological quality of the two coastal streams at Duncannon beach.

Improvement in the bathing water quality at Duncannon beach.

A greater sense of local ownership, responsibility and appreciation for the local water environment.

A template for the development of farm-specific pollution potential zone ‘PPZ’ maps and how they could be used as education and engagement tools to show farmers in a simple visual way, the water-quality risks specific to their farms.

Demonstration of a range of innovative and cost-effective farm management practices for water-quality protection.

A template for a water-quality focused, results-based, reward scheme which could be used to improve water-quality in particularly sensitive catchments.

A template for effectively communicating and sharing local water-quality results with the local community and the benefits of same.

A template for establishing local ‘citizen scientist’ groups whereby local community members monitor the quality of their local streams and develop a pollution alert system

Contact person: Wexford County Council

Address: Dr Mairead Shore, Environment Section, Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Co Wexford Y35 WY93


Phone: 00353 53 9196328

Eoin Kinsella, Sustainability Manager,
Environment Section,
Wexford County Council,
Co. Wexford,
Y35 WY93

Project Team

  • Eoin Kinsella (Sustainability Manager)
  • Dermot Leahy (Agricultural Scientist)
  • Brendan Cooney (Senior Executive Scientist)
  • Gerry Forde (Senior Engineer)
  • Nicholas Rossiter (Senior Executive Engineer)

Operational Group

  • Teagasc advisory – Catherine Colfer , Larry Murphy, Ger Shortle, Kevin A. Brennan, Tom Deane
  • Teagasc Research- David Wall, Eddie Burgess
  • Geoff Barry Agricultural Consultant – Geoff Barry, Red Barry
  • IFA – James Wallace
  • Glanbia- Emma O’Grady
  • Bord Bia- Eleanor Murphy

Leave a Reply