Clare County Council has announced details of the first ever Kilrush Biodiversity Week taking place from Monday, 23 April to Sunday, 29 April 2012.
The inaugural programme of events will celebrate the many aspects of Biodiversity in Kilrush and its environs from family days out in beautiful natural amenities to information and discussions about threats to biodiversity.
Mayor of Kilrush, Councillor Ian Lynch said Kilrush is one of the most biodiversity-rich urban areas in County Clare. “The Vandeleur Gardens and woodlands, Kilrush Creek, and the wetlands of the Shannon Estuary are wonderful examples of how natural sites can exist in close proximity or within urban areas,” he added.
Mayor Lynch explained: “Kilrush Biodiversity Week 2012 provides the people of the town, both young and old alike, with an ideal opportunity to enjoy themselves in pleasant surroundings while at the same time learn more about the vast array of plants and species that exist in their local community. I would encourage people who have never engaged in a direct way in Biodiversity, as well as enthusiasts, to attend some of the events and find out about the nature in their local areas”.
Clare Biodiversity Officer, Shane Casey said the aim of Kilrush 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.
“Many of the events taking place during the week will be aimed at the general public with other events targeted at primary and secondary schools in Kilrush. It is also hoped that members of the public who participate in Kilrush Biodiversity Week events can be encouraged to take an interest in helping to conserve Biodiversity for future generations”, he added.
Commenting on the involvement of local primary and secondary level students, Mr. Casey explained: “The wetlands of West Clare are a treasure trove of strange plants and mysterious creatures, many of which have adapted unusual habits and characteristics to help them survive in these unique habitats. However, in the run up to the weekend events, primary school students will be exploring the wetlands, from carnivorous plants and dragonflies to an extraordinary world of creatures living just beneath the water’s surface.”
He continued: “Meanwhile, Kilrush Secondary School will be transforming an ordinary green lawn into a mecca for wildlife, by creating woodland glades, edible landscapes, butterfly patches, wildlife ponds, and much more. This will be followed by an exhibition for the public, led by the students themselves, on Saturday, April 28th. With trees and plants such as Guelder Rose, Crab Apple, Rowan, Ransoms, Primroses, Bluebells, Thyme, Rosemary, Flag Iris and Watermint, it won’t be long before an array of colourful creatures takes up residence.”
Mr. Casey explained that a full programme of public events will be held on the weekend of April 28-29. There will be an early start on Saturday morning with a Dawn Chorus Walk in Vandeleur Woods at 5:30 AM. A Moth Exhibition and Bug Hunt for children takes place in the Vandeleur Woods from 10:00 AM, followed by a composting demonstration at 1pm and a guided tour of the beautiful Vandeleur Walled Gardens. At 2:30 PM, Kilrush Secondary School will host a Wildlife Gardening Exhibition, while the day will concluded with a late night bat walk in Vandeleur Woods at 9:30 PM.
On Sunday 29 April, the focus will turn to the Shannon Estuary when a discounted price for Dolphin Watching Boat Trips will be available to members of the public (To avail of the offer contact Geraldine on 065 9051327, quoting Kilrush Biodiversity Week). Meanwhile, Inland Fisheries Ireland will be inviting people to enjoy the marine touch pools at on Cappa Pier at 12:00 PM, and participate in a seashore walk from 4pm to discover the abundance of nature along the estuary from seaweed to waders.
According to Shane Casey: “The take home message for Kilrush Biodiversity Weekend is that Biodiversity is not some incomprehensible scientific discipline, but rather the ordinary plants and animals we see outside our windows and on our doorsteps every day. The weekend also comes at an opportune time with the preparation of the Kilrush Development Plan 2014-2020 underway, which will have a significant focus on amenity, biodiversity and green infrastructure.”
Kilrush Biodiversity Week 2012 takes place from Friday, 23 April to Thursday, 29 April. All events are free and family-orientated.
Notes to Editor:
- Shane Casey (065 6846499), Clare Biodiversity Officer, Clare County Council, is available for interview.
- High-resolution images of wildlife in Kilrush available on request. Call Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or email@example.com