County Galway prepares for a walk on the wild side

Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill is the host venue for a Wildflower Walk & Talk on Monday, May 20 as part of National Biodiversity Week. Photo Aengus McMahon.

Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill is the host venue for a Wildflower Walk & Talk on Monday, May 20 as part of National Biodiversity Week. Photo Aengus McMahon.

County Galway is gearing up for an action-packed week in celebration of Ireland’s biodiversity and natural heritage, from the unique birdlife along the Shannon Callows in East Galway to the wildflowers on the limestone pavement of Inis Meáin.

Galway County Council Biodiversity Week from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 26 features a countywide programme of free events that celebrate the many aspects of biodiversity.

The weeklong programme of events also includes a bat walk, a talk about the bumblebees of Connemara, a sustainable gardening course, and a biodiversity table quiz.

Cllr. Liam Carroll, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, said; “The aim of National 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. I encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to participate and learn about the importance of our biodiversity and, of course, have some fun.”

“County Galway is widely recognised for its rich biodiversity, and we are determined that this is reflected in the level of activity throughout the county during Biodiversity Week,” explained Rosina Joyce, Biodiversity Officer with Galway County Council.

She added; “With events taking place morning, noon and night all over County Galway, there will be activities to suit everybody during National Biodiversity Week. We hope members of the public who participate in one of over 20 free events taking place around the county will be inspired to take an active interest in helping to conserve biodiversity for future generations in their own community.”

The week commences on Friday, May 17 at 7:30pm in Roundstone Community Hall where John Lusby from BirdWatch Ireland will provide a talk on the Breeding Birds of Connemara. The event will offer an introduction to local birdlife found on the nearby bogs such as meadow pipits, skylarks, stonechats, curlew and cuckoo.

On Saturday, May 18, horticulturist Aoife Munn will host a Sustainable Gardening Course at Glenamaddy Community Garden from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Participants will learn how to garden in sustainable manner and support biodiversity in their garden. Advance booking is essential.

The natural symphony of birdcall will be the focus of the Roundstone Bog Dawn Chorus walk with John Lusby on Sunday, May 19. The special early morning event gets underway from the Wild Atlantic Way signature point in Derrigimlagh at 4:30am.

Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill is the host venue for a Wildflower Walk & Talk on Monday, May 20 from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Kay Synott of Living Gardens and Jenny Beale of Brigit’s Garden will present a talk on some of the common wildflowers found in County Galway and provide a guided walk through one of the most picturesque gardens of Ireland. It is necessary to book your place in advance for this event.

On Tuesday, May 21 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Colette O’Flynn of the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC ) will be guest speaker on a webinar providing expert insight into the issue of invasive alien species such as Japanese Knotweed and Quagga Mussel and what can be done to tackle the threat. The webinar Teams link may be accessed at https://biodiversity.galwaycommunityheritage.org.

Clarinbridge Cairde Club hosts a one-hour ‘Gardening for Biodiversity’ talk in Clarinbridge Parish Hall at noon on Wednesday, May 22. Kay Synott will inform attendees about how to support biodiversity in their garden and how to create space for nature.

On Thursday, May 23, local schools have been invited to participate in a Bird Call Workshop and Biodiversity Table Quiz.

On Thursday and continuing into Friday, May 24, the two-day Portumna Bioblitz and Biodiversity Festival with MKO will feature a whole series of events from bat walks, moth trapping, river kick-sampling and a demonstration of conversation dogs.

The local community of An Cheathrú Rua is invited to participate in a Seashore BioBlitz, Scavenger Hunt and Litter Beach Clean-up in Trá an Dóilín on Friday, May 24 from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

Also on Friday, BirdWatch Ireland’s Kathryn Finney will provide an insightful talk on the birdlife that lives in the stunning habitat of the Shannon Callows. The event commences at 7:30pm at The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna.

Saturday, May 25 begins at An Fuarán in Moycullen at 11:00am with the launch by Biodiversity Officer Rosina Joyce of the Moycullen Bogs Heritage Trail. The scenic 23km-loop starts and finishes at An Fuarán and cuts through Moycullen Bogs Natural Heritage Area, an extensive lowland blanket bog located 5km west of Galway city.

Celia Graebner of the Clonbur Pollinator Project will host a fascinating talk from 11:00am to midday at All Saints Heritage Centre about the different types of bumblebees, including the threatened Large Carder Bee, that can be found locally and around the Western Lakes. Attendees will learn how to identify them, what they feed on and how they can help them.

Biodiversity Week 2024 concludes on Sunday, May 26 with a Wildflower Walk and the launch of Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh’s new booklet on the wildflowers of Inis Meáin, entitled 'Pabhsaeir Inis Meáin'. The Irish language walk begins from the Ionad Pobail at noon and will feature Aedín reflecting on local flower names and the cultural heritage of the flora found on the island.

For more information on the full programme of events taking place across County Galway visit www.biodiversityweek.ie / www.biodiversity.galwaycommunityheritage.org or email biodiversity@galwaycoco.ie.

 

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