Planning for change: Coastal management and climate adaptation in Derrynane, Co. Kerry

Farrell, Eugene J.
Taylor, Brandon
O'Neill, Chris
Hyland, Vincent
Farrell, Eugene J., Taylor, Brandon, O'Neill, Chris, & Hyland, Vincent. (2023). Planning for change: Coastal management and climate adaptation in Derrynane, Co. Kerry. OPW Ireland.
This report details the results of a community participatory workshop in Derrynane, Co. Kerry during April 2022. The workshop assessed the perception of the participants to coastal management practices in their area and the potential impacts of climate change. A survey of the participants was designed to gauge their connection to the Derrynane coast and their perception of multiple facets of the coast including amenities available for visitors; human impacts on the coastal areas; habitats and the community; biodiversity and nature conservation site designations; and identifying future coastal management actions that could benefit the community. The report also identifies obstacles experienced by participants to deliver community-led coastal management actions. Most respondents had a very strong appreciation of the natural beauty and uniqueness of the area and are invested in maintaining the area for themselves and future generations. The results showed that the community is very concerned about the impacts of high visitor numbers and climate change. In particular, degradation of the dune habitats from trampling by visitors, dune erosion from storms and changes in the river channel position were identified as major concerns. Many respondents believe that some of the pressures on the area can be mitigated by the provision of amenities linked to waste, drinking water (at the Blue Flag Beach), parking and access controls, along with signage to highlight a code of conduct and build awareness of the fragile, unique nature of the dunes and visitor impacts. Respondents also highlighted a need for increased on-site staff managing the number of visitors and monitoring antisocial behaviour and activities such as unauthorized camping, motorhomes or mistreatment of the dunes – especially in the late evening and night. Many workshop participants are eager to participate and contribute to community-led actions focused on building the long term resilience of the Derrynane coast. To do this they would require greater guidance, knowledge and establishment of formal lines of communication to effectively work with the OPW in its capacity as the public body responsible for the conservation and management of Derrynane National Historic Park.
OPW Ireland
Publisher DOI