Biodiversity and the City – Eight Urban Events for Biodiversity-Week 2017!

May 15th, 2017

When we think of biodiversity we often imagine unspoilt rural pastures or other landscapes and seascapes untainted by the faintest hint of concrete or urban development. This in an understandable but incorrect reflex.

Biodiversity Week 2017 wants to bring biodiversity back to the core of Irish cities. From green trails to eco-footprints, from vertical planting to the urban otter, from the urban beekeeper to biodiversity after dark, from urban pollinator to canal walks, Biodiversity Week 2017 has the full spread of events to get in touch with urban biodiversity.

May 20, 2017 

(2.30 – 4.30pm) Dublin City Green Trail

(organiser: Niall Barrett, Eco-Unesco) The Green Trail is a 2 hour-long guided tour of Dublin city’s wildlife hotspots open to the general public that will allow participants to embark on a journey of discovery of nature, wildlife and biodiversity in the heart of the city. The trail explores plant and animal species diversity in semi-natural habitats in Dublin City Centre. It will incorporate urban garden, amenity grassland, woodland, freshwater and parkland areas of St. Stephen’s Green, Iveagh Gardens, Merrion Park, Trinity College and the streets of Dublin.

The Green Trail

May 21, 2017

(11 am – 2 pm) Estimating the Ecological Footprint of Croke Park

(organiser: John Haughton, Forest Friends) This event will involve a conducted walk and assessment of the ecological footprint of Croke Park, a discussion of how it has affected local ecology e.g. the Royal Canal biodiversity, and of any steps which the Stadium has taken to reduce the ecological impact of the stadium.

Estimating the ecological footprint of Croke Park national stadium

(2.30 – 4.30 pm) Dublin City Green Trail (second trail)

(organiser: Niall Barrett, Eco-Unesco) The Green Trail is a 2 hour-long guided tour of Dublin city’s wildlife hotspots open to the general public that will allow participants to embark on a journey of discovery of nature, wildlife and biodiversity in the heart of the city. The trail explores plant and animal species diversity in semi-natural habitats in Dublin City Centre. It will incorporate urban garden, amenity grassland, woodland, freshwater and parkland areas of St. Stephen’s Green, Iveagh Gardens, Merrion Park, Trinity College and the streets of Dublin.

The Green Trail (second)

May 23, 2017

(11:00 am – 2:00 pm) Building Biodiversity in a Barren Landscape

(organiser John Haughton Forest Friends) The event begins in the Ecological Cafe ‘Small Changes’ and follows up with workshops on tree-planting, vertical gardens and steps towards ecological food sovereignty and vegetable gardening. Expect hands-on style learning at this event!

Building Biodiversity in a Barren Landscape

May 24, 2017

(12.30 – 2 pm) Galway Urban Otter Survey & Talk

(organiser: Lenny Antonelli, Irish Wildlife Trust) The event will include a short outdoor talk on the otters of Galway City followed by an otter surveying demonstration which will involve looking for signs of otters around the mouth of the River Corrib.

Galway Urban Otter Survey and Talk

(2 – 5.30 pm) The Urban Beekeeper

(organiser: Rebecca Jeffers, An Taisce, Dun Laoghaire Association) Demonstrations and workshops will be given by South Dublin Beekeepers Liam McGarry and Anne O’ Sullivan. There will be advice on planting your garden to feed and nurture bees.In a second workshop learn how to make creams, balms and candles from bee products. You will also experience a real beehive and learn to identify worker bees, drones and the queen. The third workshop will give hands-on experience of the components of the beehive and beekeeping equipment followed by a film on bees: their lifecycle and importance.

The Urban Beekeeper

(9 – 10.30 pm) Urban Biodiversity After Dark in Dublin

(organiser: Irish Wildlife Trust) A celebration of our nocturnal urban biodiversity. Join the Irish Wildlife Trust for a guided walk in St Anne’s Park at nightfall to explore the urban biodiversity of our city. We will keep our eyes and ears open for urban wildlife such as bats, foxes and badgers. Our guide will use bat detectors to allow us to hear the echolocation calls of the native Irish bats inhabiting this historic parkland and we will learn about the social structure and life cycle the shy and charismatic urban badger. This is an evening event, involving walking on parkland and forest paths. Attendees should bring warm clothing and a small torch. All are welcome – family friendly event.

Urban Biodiversity After Dark in Dublin

May 27, 2017

(10 am – 2 pm) Preparation and Appreciation of a Pollinator-friendly Urban Landscape

(organiser: Mary T. Brennan, An Taisce, Kilkenny Association) Join us for a 2 part workshop on creating pollinator-friendly urban environments in Kilkenny! Part one will be an indoor presentation on pollinators and their habitat requirements. Part two will take place outdoors on the grounds of Kilkenny castle, and will involve carrying out field work on bumble bees and pollinator-friendly planting schemes including trees, shrubs, pond, meadow and garden.

Preparation and Appreciation of a Pollinator-friendly Urban Landscape

(10.30 am – 1pm) Grand Canal Biodiversity Walking Tour, Dublin: Walk, Explore, Enjoy

(organiser: Tim Clabon, Irish Wildlife Trust) Join the Irish Wildlife Trust for this event where we will be taking a gentle stroll up and down the canal path to see the wildlife around this time of year. This is a linear walk starting and finishing at McEvoys Pub (so maybe finish off with a warm drink if pub is open).Walk from the pub down the canal path looking at the rich biodiversity supported in and along canals. As well as appreciating the wildlife seen we will also look at how changes have effected biodiversity, how canals play a role in protecting biodiversity and supporting tourism, threats to biodiversity from changes to the canal environment.

Grand Canal Biodiversity Walking Tour, Dublin: Walk, Explore, Enjoy

About the Author

David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.

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