Provision of Ecological advisory services to Louth County Council (at Clogherhead)

Louth County Council, with the support of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan fund, invites proposals for the provision of professional services for conservation assessment, reporting and recommendations for future management of grazing and of visitors on that section of Clogherhead SAC owned and managed by Louth County Council

Responses are invited from experienced ecological consultants (contractors) with proven experience of managing grazing for biodiversity conservation and also of controlling pressure from recreational visitors. The brief requires detailed, site specific guidance and recommendations for grazing (commencement, termination and intensity) on a site that is heavily used by walkers, including dog-walkers.

Required Outputs

  • An illustrated, objective report on the current ecological condition of the SAC, paying particular attention to the presence or absence of the species for which the SAC was designated. This should focus primarily on the Council-owned section of the SAC but it may be useful to draw comparisons, whether positive or negative, with the effect of management on adjacent areas in private ownership and managed as farms.
  • Detailed recommendations for future conservation grazing of the Council-owned part of the SAC. This should specify which species of grazing animals would be best (e.g. cows and/or calves, sheep, goats, ponies), how many animals (Livestock Units) are required, for how long and when grazing should begin and end (e.g. start June to October), while bearing in mind annual climatic variability.
  • Mapping and appraisal of the many informal walking routes currently in use over the Council-owned land, with reference to the use of the path from Little Strand, close to Clogherhead village, to Port Oriel. How many paths across the Council-owned land exist ? How many people are using them? How many have dogs? Are there runners or cyclists too? While it would be useful to know what the catchment area of the site is, in terms of walking/ recreation/ exercise, tenderers are not required to cover this but comments are welcome. Liaison with adjacent landowners and community bodies might be required to inform this aspect of the project. Consideration might be given to holding a public event, if considered useful.
  •  Recommendations for the control and better guidance of recreational use of the SAC land, including creating new access points and routes or closing off existing ones. Directional signage or other more subtle techniques to control and direct walkers should be proposed. Suggestions for access for people with limited mobility would be welcome.
  • An informed, comparative assessment of littering on the site, including but not limited to: waste from trawling and cliff angling, flotsam, picnics, consumption of takeaways, barbecues, setting off of fireworks, dog mess bags, cigarette butts, sweet wrappers.

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