Clare Biodiversity Week kicks off today

Clare Biodiversity Week kicks off today


Clare County Council has announced details of ‘Clare Biodiversity Week’ taking place from this Sunday (20 May 2018) to Sunday 27 May 2018. 

The countywide programme of free events will celebrate the many aspects of Biodiversity in Clare from family days out in beautiful natural amenities to information and discussions about threats to biodiversity. The weeklong programme of events includes bat walks, nature walks and whale watching.

“The aim of Clare Biodiversity Week is to encourage active learning about Biodiversity through a range of enjoyable events and to increase public understanding that action taken locally has national and global importance.  It is also hoped that members of the public can be encouraged to take an interest in helping to conserve Biodiversity for future generations”, stated Congella, McGuire, Clare County Council Heritage Officer.

She continued, “Clare is widely recognised for its leading role in Biodiversity awareness and we are determined that this will be reflected in the level of activity throughout the county during Clare Biodiversity Week.”

The week commences on Sunday 20 May a free talk on the Shannon Dolphins hosted by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at the Shannon Dolphin Centre, Merchants Quay, Kilrush, from 3.00 p.m.

The talk will be followed by a guided tour of the Centre, which houses a range of whale artefacts and information on whale and dolphin biology, ecology and the IWDG’s ongoing research on the Shannon dolphins.

Between Monday 21 May and Sunday 27 May from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily, Irish Seed Savers Association, Capparoe, Scarriff, will be hosting Blossom Week which will culminate with an Annual Plant Share event on 27 May. There will be free entry to the Seed Savers gardens and orchards all week (up to and including 26 May).

On each of the days free tours will be given showcasing the importance of protecting Ireland’s food biodiversity and heritage. The tour will focus on our organic seed gardens, heritage orchards, and our custom-built seed bank. The Annual Plant Share event (27 May) encourages the general public to bring along surplus plants, seeds, and shrubs for trading to show biodiversity in action.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

On 22 May from 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm at the Oak Wood Hotel in Shannon, the County Clare Woodland Project will be hosting a free talk on its Bee Garden project which for the past four years has seen hundreds of Bee Garden packs (which include Irish Wild Flower seeds) explaining the challenges that Ireland is experiencing in relation to bee populations being distributed. The a talk will focus on awareness of the project with a historical outline of the biodiversity actions taken over a 25 year period, research on native woodland, bat meetings for the last 14 years, and the Woodland Project’s land in the Burren.

On Wednesday 23 May, Elaine Keegan, NPWS Wildlife Ranger and member of the Clare Bat Group, will lead a free Bat Walk in the Vandeleur Estate in Kilrush commencing from the public Carpark.

On Friday 25 May, there will be a Bat Walk at O’Brien’s Bridge from 9.30pm to 11.00 pm, commencing from the Playground in O’Brien’s Bridge. Participants of the dusk walk will be taken through local habitats and learn more about the variety of local bat species, as well as other wildlife.

On Saturday 26 May, there will be a free ‘Explore The Biodiversity’ walk in Clarisford Park, Killaloe, from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm, while there will be a free Family Forest Run for all ages at Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road, in Ennis from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

On Sunday 27 May at 2.00 pm, the Corofin Burren Centre will be the starting point for a free nature walk of An Taisce Burren land and woodland. From 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm on Sunday 27 May, members of the public will be able to find out about Irish whales and dolphins on a free land-based whale watch at Loop Head guided by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.