Thursday, 28 May 2015

May 23rd Biodiversity Walk St. Anne's Park, Raheny

On Saturday May 23rd the Dublin Branch celebrated Biodiversity Week 2015 with a walk in St. Anne's Park, Raheny with Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir. The weather was bright and sunny and a there was a good turnout to hear Niall talk about some of our native trees, wild plants and birds - and some creepy crawlies too! Among the plants Niall showed the group was wild garlic, lords and ladies or cuckoo's pint, (Arum maculatum),  herb robert (used as a traditional cure to stanch bleeding), primroses and wild bluebells. Trees such as the yew, beech and hawthorn were also featured.

The walk took in the old pond to look at the ducks, and followed that with a visit to a wooded part of the park to see a heronry, and hear the little egrets make their strange bubbling or 'gobbling-like-a-turkey' calls. Finally an old log was turned over to see lots of woodlice, black beetles and centipedes scurrying about - a big hit with the small kids who were present!

Wild garlic with its pungent smell

Look mammy - creepy crawlies!

Monday, 11 May 2015

5th May Green Drinks - Abbeyleix Bog Project

On 5th May last the Dublin Branch of IWT heard about the Abbeyleix Bog project (ABP)  for its Green Drinks meeting in May. Chris Uys from the Projectoutlined how this innovative community project is saving a local bog for future generations. The ABP stemmed from a local action group known as AREA (Abbeyleix Residents for Environment Action) which was established in 2000 to conserve and protect the bog which was threatened with harvesting for peat moss. Following negotiations with Bord Na Móna a lease was signed in 2010 which handed the bog over to the local community to manage for a period of 50 years with a primary focus on conservation.

A huge amount of work has been done on the bog to date, blocking drains to rewet it, building a walkway so that people can enjoy the bog without damaging it, and removing invasive species like rhododendron. as a result the bog is regenerating and the number of species of wild plants and animals is rising all the time. According to Chris, local involvement is absolutely key to the project's success, with local people giving their time and energy to progress the bog's restoration as a local amenity. Truly an inspirational project!

Abbeyleix damsel fly