The unsettled weather of the past week failed to deter hundreds of people from participating in the inaugural Kilrush Biodiversity Week.
The initiative has been described as “an outstanding success” by organisers who already are making plans for next year’s Biodiversity Week 2013.
The inaugural programme of events celebrated 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.
“It was fantastic to be able to showcase the wide variety of wildlife that exists here in Kilrush,” said Shane Casey, Biodiversity Officer with Clare County Council.
On Saturday, it was wonderful to be able to use the same trails at Vandeleur Woods at different times of the day and discover a whole different set of animals on each one, from the birds on the Dawn Chorus Walk to the moths and bats at night. ‘It was particularly rewarding to see the response of the children who took part, and the sheer wonder and amazement that the weekend events generated. Hopefully this weekend will ignite a longer term interest in the biodiversity that surrounds them”, added Mr. Casey.
The main activity occurred during the weekend. Kilrush Biodiversity Weekend kicked off at Vandeleur Woods, and those who braved were rewarded with a wonderful operatic display as chiffchaffs, blackcaps, wrens, wagtails and many more all gave outstanding performances. The frost from the night before meant there were fewer moths on the wing than anticipated, but that didn’t dispel the wonder and delight of the kids who uncovered all forms of creepy crawlies such as slugs, spiders, leeches and millipedes.
Following a guided tour of the Vandeleur Walled Gardens, it was the turn of the students from Kilrush Community School who demonstrated their work in transforming their school grounds into a wildlife haven. And as the light faded on Saturday evening, a sizeable crowd gathered for the bat walk, and were treated to an energetic display by Soprano Pipistrelles who were busy hunting around the Walled Garden and along the avenues of Vandeleur Woods.
Salmon, trout, eels, sticklebacks, perch and pikes were all on display during the Fishy Activities at Cappagh Pier on Sunday, and there were plenty of squeals emerging as children had the opportunity to hold the fish in their hands. There was a different array of aquatic life discovered on the seashore walk with dog whelks, periwinkles and seaweeds, but it was a crab race that wrapped up the seashore walk and Kilrush Biodiversity Weekend.
Clare Biodiversity Officer
Clare County Council