Biodiversity Week takes place from Friday, May 19 to May 28 with free events and workshops and aims to engage the public in a range of nature-related activities, from bat walks, to dusk choruses, plant identification events and much more. Let’s have a look at the events taking place across the midlands.
Biodiversity week, Westmeath
Biodiversity week kicks off on Friday with a Swift Walk in Mullingar, led by Richella Duggan of BirdWatch Ireland. Later that evening the Midlands Bat Group will lead a Bat Walk in the grounds of Tullynally Castle. Meeting at Tullynally Courtyard beside the Tea Room, parking available in the Castle car park. Temperatures will drop after dark, please dress appropriately.
A Dusk Chorus walk is planned in Ardan Wood, near Kilbeggan on Saturday, May 20 (booking is required or this event).
Cloncrow Bog near Tyrrellspass is also hosting a series of nature walks and citizen science demonstrations on Saturday May 27.
A photographic exhibition of ‘Starling Murmurations’ takes place in Mullingar Library. The exhibition, which includes a selection of photographs taken by John McCauley and Rodney Clery, will be on display all week.
On Tuesday, May 23, ornithologist Owen Murphy will give an illustrated talk in Athlone Library on ‘the Conservation of Ground Nesting Birds’. Mullingar Library will host researcher Amy Haigh on Saturday morning, May 27. She will give an illustrated talk on ‘How hedgehogs live up to their name, and other insights into the lives of Irish mammals’.
Biodiversity Week, Offaly
On Wednesday 24th May, John Feehan will lead a ‘Walk at Syngefield Demesne.’ This is a wonderful site on the edge of Birr town with a huge natural and built heritage contained there. Please meet at Atkins Farm Machinery in the neighbouring industrial estate (R42 CP30). 6pm.
On Thursday 25th May, Tara Adcock from Birdwatch Ireland and Offaly’s Biodiversity Officer, Ricky Whelan will lead a ‘Swift Walk’ at 7.30pm: Meeting outside Tullamore Library
On Saturday 27th May, Anna Collins from Kildare Bat Group is hosting a Bat Walk in Clara Town at 9.30pm: Meeting at Clara Library car park.
Biodiversity week, Laois
There are a number of diverse events happening in Laois this year to celebrate Biodiversity Week – from talks on wildlife photography to pristine rivers, and biodiversity-themed craft workshops.
For those with an interest in birds, it starts with a ‘dusk chorus’ led by the Laois branch of Birdwatch Ireland on Abbeyliex Bog on Friday 19th May. Meeting in the manor Hotel Car Park 7pm.
On 25th May there are two events: the first in Camross is to highlight ‘high status’ or pristine water bodies of which the Delour in Camross is one. Meeting at the Poet’s Cottage, Camorss, 3pm. Also on the 25th at 7pm in Portlaoise library there is a talk on the art of wildlife photography by Heather Rice.
On Saturday 27th May, Abbeyleix Library is hosting two events: the first is at 12pm with a biodiversity-themed family craft event using coloured pages from their old magazine collection to create a bug collage. There will also be a digital photography display on the Abbeyleix Bog Project running all week in Abbeyleix Library.
Biodiversity week, Longford
Newtownforbes are hosting their Summer Science Festival this Sunday the 21st May and it looks like an action packed, fun-filled day. There will be a number of events running throughout the afternoon in the local Community Garden and Playground across the road from the school and GAA club
The events on the day will include:
A talk from Nuala Madigan from the Irish Peatland Conservation Council on the rewetting of our boglands & the importance of conserving these areas amid climate change.
Circus 250 will be performing Science on Stilts, with two ladies mingling with the crowd while performing simple science experiments. The Exploration Dome/Mobile Planetarium will be located in the school hall which will provide 20 minute interactive shows about Astronomy and Earth Sciences throughout the afternoon.
Daphne Barden, from Long Garden Bees will be available throughout the afternoon to give information on pollination and how we can all contribute to biodiversity in our gardens. Demonstration on how to create a mini pond and the impact it will have on wildlife in a small garden alongside a video showing wild life activity around an existing mini pond
Rosie Fay from Longford Library is hosting a workshop with primary school students in Longford Library on Wednesday 24th May at 10am on Back Garden Biodiversity. Workshop will include making eco friendly bird feeders and compostable flower pots and talk on biodiversity.
Gary Brady, Envionmental Officer with Longford County Council will be give a talk in Longford Library on 30th May at 2:30pm on enhancing your garden for biodiversity amongst other things. Talk will include helpful tips on what flowers, shrubs and trees to plant for pollinators and also how to make environmentally friendly bug sprays. The talk will also include a workshop on making biodiversity friendly habitats in your garden.
There’s lots to see and lots to learn, even in your backgarden, so dive in to the events and see what interests you. National Biodiversity Week is all about connecting people with nature. It’s about communicating the importance of biodiversity and motivating people to play their part in protecting it.
National Biodiversity Week is organised by the Irish Environmental Network (IEN), with thanks to funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Events are run by IEN member groups, as well as by Heritage Officers and other local groups. For full details of what’s on across the county during Biodiversity Week check out their website.