The Ballybrado Nature Reserve

The very versatile layout of Ballybrado Farm (once described as a landscape of the 19th century by a journalist of the FAZ newspaper), containing meadows, tilled fields, wetlands, forests and rivers, provides habitats for an abundance of wildlife.

Already in the early days an arrangement with the Irish Wild Bird Conservancy was entered into, declaring Ballybrado Farm a Nature Reserve, banning all shooting and hunting and managing the habitats for wildlife.
 
25 years on the farm has become a haven for birds. More than 55 bird species have been recorded on the farm, the latest addition being the Little Egret, normally living in Southern France and Northern Italy. Rare species include Kingfisher, Woodcock, Curlew, Dipper, Gold Crest, Long Tailed Tits, Gold Finch, Bull Finch, Tree Creeper, Jay, Kestrel, Tawny Owl and a pair of Rooks, living in a large eyrie in a majestic pine for the last 25 years.

 

Photographer: BirdWatch Ireland - www.birdwatchireland.ie

When the Zoological Department of University College Cork undertook a survey of insect life at Ballybrado they found evidence of an amazing variety of insects, some of them very rare in Ireland, e.g. Teleiodes vulgella, or Rhyacionia pinisorana. The fact that Ballybrado is an organic farm where no pesticides are being used is of course not the only reason for this rich insect life, but certainly an important contribution.
 

Bigger mammals which call Ballybrado their home include badgers and foxes and a film about otters, made at Ballybrado, won a prize in a competition of the Examiner Newspaper.

Although trout would be the main fish species in the river an increasing number of salmon are now being seen travelling up the River Suir for spawning.