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Wild Derrynane

Establishing Ireland's 1st 

Marine Protected Park

This project aims to document and map the seabed, submerged reefs, submarine habitats, flora and fauna found beneath Derrynane Bay and its inner islands for the purposes of establishing Ireland's 1st Marine Protected Park.


Documenting the area over a full twelve months will allow for a deeper understanding of its underwater marine flora and fauna. The possibility will also exist to record visiting/transient species such as basking shark, dolphins, whales and sunfish with minimal disturbance. The Trident OpenROV will give us access to all areas within the bay and help us learn more about Derrynane’s underwater habitats and communities which this project hope to highlight.


On land, Derrynane is well documented and contains some of Ireland's most iconic, rare and protected species. The Kerry Lily, the large flowered Butterworth, the Kerry Slug and the Natterjack Toad are four species from the 'Lusitanian' (Spain and Portugal) flora and fauna. The area is part of the Kenmare Bay Special Area of conservation and has protected natural heritage areas including inner and outer islands. 

The project's founder and project manager is Vincent Hyland, who established the Wild Derrynane initiative in 2008. This initiative has, in cooperation with the Office of Public Works (Derrynane National Historic Park), already delivered a seashore nature trail together with a 1.2 kilometre marked looped trail, booklet and app.


Vincent Hyland demonstrating his work at Wild Derrynane to HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in June 2018.


Vincent Hyland at the official launch of the Derrynane Seashore Nature Trail with Minister Sean Canny (Department of Tourism and Heritage) and Adrian Corcoran (Office of Public Works)

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