Animal warning as airborne survey gets underway

WESTERN Ireland is to be the focus for Tellus - a geological mapping project - in the months ahead.

An airborne survey, involving a low-flying plane equipped with state-of-the-art geophysical technology, will take flight over counties Galway, southern Mayo and neighbouring counties in upcoming months (weather permitting).

With soil and stream sampling already underway in Mayo, ground teams are set to continue their geochemical surveying activity in the county and into west Galway and north Clare, visiting over 5,000 locations across the summer and autumn months.

Surveying by Tellus will provide an up-to-date, comprehensive picture of the geology of the region with the aim of delivering long term economic, environmental and agricultural benefits.

Data, which will be released publically, will also allow for the modernisation of geological maps for planning and research purposes, improve radon risk mapping and promote local mineral exploration.

The Tellus team, led by the Geological Survey of Ireland and funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, expect to have surveyed 50% of the country by late 2017.

The airborne survey will operate safely within Irish Aviation Authority permits, however, the sound of the plane flying overhead is similar to that of a passing lorry and could startle young animals and sensitive livestock, such as horses, pedigree cattle and poultry flocks.

Members of the geochemical sampling team operated by OCAE Consultants Ltd. - who work in pairs and carry identification - will meanwhile collect samples at regular intervals across the area. Permission to sample land will be sought on the day of sampling, and cooperation from landowners is appreciated.

Tellus are in close contact with the local community in the area to make sure that people and animals on the ground are not disturbed by survey operations.

Anyone with concerns about low-flying aircraft in relation to sensitive animals is asked to get in touch through the information line on Freephone 1800 303 516.

For more information on Tellus, including weekly flight plans, please visit