This is a map of the Camac River as it flows into the lower part of the Community Centre in Clondalkin. The river flows down from the Fairview Mills (known as the Oil Mills at the entrance to Corkagh Park), through the canal (on the left hand side of the image), and on to the Sandy Hole, where it splits into two branches. The right branch flows into the Moyle Park Filter Ponds, where the sediment settled out of the water for use in the Clondalkin Paper Mills in times gone by. The left branch flows down the fish ladder at the Sandy Hole, and makes it's way to the Big Pond, Cruidin, the Horses Drink, the Marchioness's, and Sally Park, where it crosses under the Old Nangor Road at the entrance to The Mills Centre car park. It flows underground in a culvert re-appearing near the Civic Centre near the Ninth Lock Road / Orchard Road junction.
'Tunnelling' is a term used to describe when the riverbank vegetation becomes overgrown and shades the river from light.
This causes a lack of oxygenated water and prevents the growth aquatic plants, which, just like terrestrial plants, need sunlight for photosynthesis. Also the aquatic insects need a good selection of plants for food and shelter.
Tunnelling is bad for the invertebrates the fish and other wildlife feed on. This map shows the areas on the stretch called the Cruidin which had become very overgrown.
In February 2020, South Dublin County Council did a major cut back of this stretch of the river which will pay dividends in the future.
This is an image of the river after SDCC dealt with the Tunnelling issue in late February 2020. Although the scene looks devastated now in a few months the vegetation will have recovered.
The big bonus is that now light can access the river bed, a bonus to the invertebrates that live there and provide food for the fish and other wildlife.
Photo by Daire Fitzharris.
Our Volunteers have been busy!!
Since last Autumn they (following the advice of Dr Rosaleen Dwyer, Environmental Officer of SDCC and under the leadership of Committee Member Brian Nolan) cleared a series of plots along the river bank and planted a selection of Native Irish Wildflower seeds, with those supportive of pollinator species of insects as the main consideration.
Hopefully we will soon see the fruits of their labours, and pollinators, especially bees, need all the help they can get.
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