The Duckponds at Kildanogue near Ardfinnan, in the foothills of the Knockmealdowns, were first developed by Ardfinnan, Ballybacon, Grange and Newcastle Gun Club in 1969 in partnership with land owners, and Coillte’s predecessor, the Forestry and Wildlife Service. Since then the Club has been very involved in conservation and biodiversity projects including a Grouse conservation project, tree-planting and Duck and Pheasant release programmes to name a few.
In 2011 The club approached South Tipperary Development Company with an impressive development plan to open the man-made duckponds to the public as a leisure and educational amenity. The works included developing hard-core paths which are wheelchair and buggy friendly, wooden bridges, railing, outdoor furniture, car parking area and entrance, as well as a viewing platform and hut. There is interpretive signage placed right throughout the site to help visitors identify all of the diverse flora and fauna. The club was successful in securing a grant of almost €150,000 to help it in carrying out these works.
The project has been an overwhelming success, drawing visitors from near and afar. It complements the work of Knockmealdown Active, a local multi-purpose community initiative established to promote trade and tourism in the communities within the foothills of the Knockmealdowns.
The group hopes to complete Phase II of the project in the coming years, which will see the development of an interpretive centre and public toilets.