The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has fenced off 2,500m of the Derryclare nature reserve in Connemara, to protect it from wild deer and “trespassing sheep”.

“There has been a threat to the native woodland from overgrazing by wild deer and trespassing sheep leading to a denuded ground layer of vegetation with no natural woodland regeneration which is vital to any healthy woodland ecosystem,” according to the NPWS.

Derryclare is a state-owned nature reserve of 19ha comprising important habitats of old sessile oak woodland, Derryclare Lake shore and peatland areas.

The reserve is encircled by Derryclare lake and Coillte Teoranta coniferous plantations and NPWS is responsible for the sites conservation and visitor management.

Local contractor, Martin McDonagh Plant Hire from Recess, Co. Galway was successful in the procurement process for the fencing contract and in December completed the 2,500m of fencing.

“The erection of this fence will allow sessile oak and other native seedlings to survive and flourish and regenerate the wood naturally over time,” the NPWS said.

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