The environment and it’s biodiversity are hugely important to us at Goleen Harbour.
We have 2 Key objectives by which all our actions are measured
1. To enhance the biodiversity and improve the natural environment that we own and as much of the surrounding area as possible
2. To create sustainable local employment and strengthen the local economy
Key to this is our aim to plant around 8 acres of Native Woodland with approx 8000 trees, the woodland area with several ponds and a stream is already home to Dragonflies and aquatic bugs will have a walking path running through it and an Outdoor Classroom area.
We are custodians of an area of Special Scientific Interest (SAC) consisting of Perennial Vegetation of Stony Banks, and Dry Heath, the plant species of note which are legally protected are Hairy Bird’s foot-trefoil, Pale Dog-violet and Lanceolate Spleenwort. The “Red Data Book” species are Green-winged Orchid, Bird’s-foot and Spotted Rock-rose and a further scarce plant the Strawberry Tree. The area is also home to the Chough a sea bird that looks similar to a small Black Crow with an Orange beak. We will be carefully grazing the area with another Rare breed the Connemara Ponies along with our current horses as the Chough prefers short grass.
We are also working with Ian Wright founder of the Irish National Forest Foundation on the preparation of a Biodiversity plan for the whole site which is aimed at improving the species numbers of flora, fauna, insects, animals and birds. Our Forster is Mark Gwyndon who was National Trust Forester for Wales with responsibility for Ecology, along with working on our Woodland creation and management Mark is also advising on Biodiversity and Ecology.
We are a registered Organic Farm currently in the 2 year conversion process, we believe that farming Organically is much healthier for the environment, the animals and us as consumers. We will have a Farm Shop where along with our own produce we will only sell Artisan Food and Beverages of West Cork applying the methodology and criteria Matt developed for The Sheep’s Head Producers.
Our site will be powered by Renewable Energy we aim to be entirely free of Fossil Fuels and Carbon Positiive
Our buildings will be built as close to Passive House standards as our budget permits with high levels of insulation and air tightness.
Our Activities such as Sea Kayaking, Archery, Geo Cache Treasure Hunting, Walking and Cycling are all low impact and engine free and have been selected for their suitability to help those participating to appreciate the environment they are in.
Matt Mills has worked on promoting the need for protecting our environment and the need for our rural communities to become more resilient and sustainable for over 10 years. This work has included hosting discussions and being part of the panel at major music and arts festivals with Cabinet Ministers. Facilitating courses,
being co-founder of the Sheep’s Head Producers Group and a key member of the Presentation Team that won The Sheep’s Head Peninsula the EDEN Award. Matt is also the Environmental Pillar Representative on the board of West Cork Development Partnership.
The environment is key to everything we are doing, it is our aim that all our visitors and guests will leave us with a greater appreciation for the environment and the importance of biodiversity.