Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) is now taking applications for a LEADER funded online and field-based training programme to help participants prepare a biodiversity enhancement plan for an outdoor recreational space in their community.
It can be any site which has public access which people use for recreation, a park, perimeter of a sports or playground, the grounds of a community building (church, community centre) or other green space.
The training which is free of charge and which will run for a total of 6 months is open to all community groups in County Clare.
It will be held as a series of 12 webinars taking place on Wednesday evenings from 12th May to 28th July, 2021 combined with on-site training, and a final series of 4 online workshops in September to complete the plans.
The programme will be led by Dr Fran Giaquinto who will explain the fundamentals of biodiversity and habitat protection, and show participants how to recognise the potential for increasing biodiversity in their selected area.
“By increasing biodiversity, we increase the amount of carbon that is stored”, said Dr. Giaquinto who will also show participating groups how this can be measured and introduced into their plan to help protect from climate change.
Organic gardener, Linda Gilsenan will show participants how to bring native trees and pollinator-friendly plants into their community whilst Phoebe O’Brien, a well-known local botanist will demonstrate how to conduct surveys and identify the biodiversity that exists in the area.
“We want this training programme to succeed at a very high level and provide a blueprint for community-led habitat protection into the future. Our vision is to equip all participants with the confidence, knowledge and tools to design and implement their plans, and become proud of their endeavours” said Dr Giaquinto.
“As part of this training we will help you design a biodiversity plan and direct you to the resources to implement it. Also, this is an opportunity for communities in County Clare to become the first in the country to collectively measure their carbon storage as a result of biodiversity actions,” she added.
CLDC LEADER projects Co-ordinator, Ms. Gloria Callinan has urged groups with an interest in enhancing the biodiversity of their local outdoor recreational spaces to apply for a place on the course. “The programme will also deliver on the biodiversity objective of our Local Development Strategy to deliver training for community groups that stimulates actions to protect and enhance vulnerable species and habitats”, said Ms. Callinan.
Places are limited to 25 groups and participants will need access to internet and a smart phone or laptop. The trainers will assist with set up and use of the online Zoom software.
Further information and an application form can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 30th April, 2021.