*Photograph: Enda O’Loughlin. 

A SERIES of biodiversity events will take place across Clare as part of National Biodiversity Week which runs from Friday, 17th May to Sunday, 26th May, 2024.

Clare County Council’s Biodiversity Office, in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), BirdWatch Ireland, National Biodiversity Data Centre, Coastwatch, Irish Seed Savers, Clare Libraries, Connolly Tidy Towns and local experts, has organised ten free events which will include biodiversity talks and field outings to mark the occasion.

Many aspects of Clare’s biodiversity from its flora and fauna to its coastal marine life will be celebrated.

This year’s varied programme includes a talk on identifying the sounds and calls of some of the county’s bird life, workshops on native orchards, and information on habitat site selection for barn owl nest boxes. There will also be an event to support biodiversity enhancement actions in the community.

These events will also provide information to the public on how they can make their observations during the pre-draft consultation phase for the new Clare Biodiversity Action Plan 2024-2030, which is open for public consultation from May 3rd to June 4th.

Barry O’Loughlin, Biodiversity Officer with Clare County Council commented, “National Biodiversity Week is an important way for the public to learn about habitats and species in their local area from experts in their field, and at the same time participate in biodiversity citizen science initiatives. This will give the public an opportunity to upload biodiversity records in their locality to the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s online database”.

Clare’s programme of events include:

On Friday, 17th May, Barry O’Loughlin, Biodiversity Officer, will give a talk to members of Connolly Tidy Towns on biodiversity funding opportunities for Community Biodiversity Action Plans and biodiversity enhancement actions communities can undertake. This event is registration only – visit https://biodiversityweek.ie/ to book your place.

On Saturday morning, 18th May, local expert and ecologist Donncha Ó Catháin will give a walk and talk at Ballybeg Woods in Ennis. The talk will cover the ecology of long-established woodlands and the rich flora and fauna this site supports. The event is open for all to attend.

Irish Seed Savers will host two workshops on the creation and management of traditional native orchards, the first on Monday, 20th May, in Clarecastle and the second on Saturday, 25th May, in Inagh. The event is part of the local biodiversity action funded project, ‘Return to Nature Clare Church Biodiversity Project’ led by Clare County Council’s Biodiversity Officer. This event is registration only – visit https://biodiversityweek.ie/ to book your place.

On Tuesday, 21st May, John Lusby, BirdWatch Ireland Raptor Officer, will give an online talk on barn owls and the identification of suitable habitat site selection for the installation of barn owl nest boxes. Collette O’Flynn of the National Biodiversity Data Centre will give an online talk on Tuesday, 21st May, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and will cover invasive species, targeted at Tidy Towns groups and local interest groups.

Photograph: Enda O’Loughlin

Jane Kelleher of Coastwatch will lead a field outing on Saturday, 25th May, at Seafield Pier where people can learn about the marine life of rock pools and seagrasses. The event is open for all to attend. On Sunday, 26th May, NPWS Local Ranger Jamie Durrant will lead a talk entitled ‘Birds of Craggaunowen’. The event will cover bird identification of woodland and wetland birds of Craggaunowen and bird sounds and calls. The event is open for all to attend.

Clare Libraries have organised two events at Scariff Library for both adults and younger groups. On Saturday, 25th May, Scariff Library will host a one-hour workshop on ‘Become a Citizen Scientist’, which will cover how the public can record biodiversity in their local area and participate in citizen science recording initiatives (suitable for adults and children aged 9 and up). On Friday, 24th May, Scariff Library will host a one-hour nature art workshop and seed planting for pollinators, aimed at children aged 7-12 years. Please contact Scariff Library to book your place for both events.

National Biodiversity Week is organised by the Irish Environmental Network (IEN), with support from the NPWS. Events are run by IEN member groups, as well as by Heritage Officers, Biodiversity Officers and other local groups.

For further information on National Biodiversity Week and to register your place, please visit: https://biodiversityweek.ie/ or contact biodiversity@clarecoco.ie

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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