Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve

Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve, near Cobh, County Cork, Ireland is managed by Birdwatch Ireland (BWI). The land is owned by the Bird and Ronan families and comprises about 12 ha of land located along the lower reaches of the Ballyleary Stream on the Great Island in Cork Harbour.

All the lands on the reserve are private property and therefore the wildlife should be viewed only from the road that borders the west and south side of the reserve. Camping, Horse Riding, Canoeing and any activity that might disturb the wildlife or damage the reserve is not permitted on the reserve and fishing, swimming and boating of any description is not allowed on the lake. The area is so small that these activities would seriously disturb the wild life.

When visiting the reserve enjoy your stay and please keep to the roadway, parking area or the beach where it is possible to get good views of the wildlife of the reserve.

The welfare of the wildlife of the reserve is your first consideration. The reserve includes a mixture of lake, swamp, grassland and woodland habitats and is of local nature conservation importance. It is also an important local amenity and is used by local schools for educational purposes.


Thanks to: Wanda and John Ronan and Andrew, Heather and David Bird, without whose generosity as landowners the reserve would not exist. Anna Ahern, Allan Farrell, Ken Bond, Mark Carmody, Dr. Debbie Chapman, Ciaran Cronin, Tom Gittings, Birgit O’Driscoll, Geoff Oliver, Eddie Ronayne,  and Moggy Somers for their help and advice. Cobh Town Council, Cobh Tidy Towns, Cobh Community College, Cork County Council, The Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund and SECAD for their assistance. Thanks also to the teachers and pupils of Scoil Iosaef Naofa and those too numerous to mention who have been giving their valuable time, help and advice since the reserve was established in 1990.

We would like to thank all those who have taken an interest in Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve over the years. We would especially like to thank all those who have volunteered on the reserve, helping to make it the magical place it is. We would also like to thank all those who have studied many aspects of the biodiversity of the reserve, adding greatly to our understanding of the flora and fauna of the reserve and whose dedicated work is reflected in the pages of this website.

Photography: Unless specifically credited all images by Jim Wilson. Blue Tit, Stonechat, Kingfisher, Emperor Dragonfly and the banner shot at the top of this page which were taken by Mark Carmody ( The central image on the Climate page photo banner was taken by Cian Ryan. Special thanks to the following photographers for generously supplying additional images in the butterfly, damselfly and dragonfly sections: Clodagh De Bláca Blake, Brian Carruthers, Shay Connolly, Michael Keating, Michael John O’Mahony and Gillian Thomas. We would also to thank all those who have and continue to take photos at the reserve and in particular Ronan McLaughlin (

We would like to acknowledge Cork County Council and the Community Environment Action Fund for providing a grant that enabled us to develop this website.