13 May 2022
A ten day celebration of nature in Ireland kicks off today! Welcome to National Biodiversity Week 2022!
Biodiversity refers to the variety of species in a particular area. Whether that’s the entire planet or your garden pond, healthy biodiversity will have a wide variety of plants and animals that support each other in a balanced eco-system. It’s essential for maintaining the systems that we, and all animals, rely on for survival.
As many of us know, biodiversity is not doing well in Ireland. Habitats are fragmented and destroyed, meaning that many animals and plants are in trouble.
However – there is something that can be done, and the events taking place throughout Biodiversity Week highlight what action can be taken, as well as showcasing some of the most interesting and unassuming species and habitat in the country!
From our ocean habitat to our uplands, and across 20 counties, there is something to interest everyone. Events range from guided tours to spot whales and bats, to hands-on workshops for building community wildlife gardens. At both dawn and dusk, there are opportunities to bask in birdsong on guided walks across Ireland. Get to know your weeds, or learn how to increase life in one of our most essential habitats, the soil, at composting workshops.
Webinars will cover the importance of biodiversity for human health, well-being and Irish culture, as well as what cross-sectoral economic measures can be taken to aid the life-supporting nature that surrounds us.
The Irish Environmental Network coordinates this week and is funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). There are over 130 events listed on the calendar, but here are our top choices over the coming ten days.
Top Event Choices from the IEN
Dusk Chorus – 8pm, Wicklow
Experience one of nature’s greatest performances! Join the Birdwatch Ireland Wicklow Branch for a Dusk Chorus Walk at East Coast Nature Reserve. May is the height of the bird-breeding season when birds are most active pairing up and defending territories.
The Importance of a Community Seed Bank – online viewing
The act of saving and sharing seeds has a profound impact on biological diversity which is essential to the long-term vitality of all ecosystems. Keeping this genetic diversity alive helps ensure the resilience of both the wild and cultivated environments. A community seed bank ensures that as seeds are shared without restrictions they also remain in the public domain.
Video created by Cloughjordan Ecovillage and available to view from Friday 13th
Quilty Beach Seagrass Discovery Fieldtrip – 9.40am, Clare
Discover a seagrass meadow! Wade amongst the shallows and see what life this marine meadow supports!
How to identify life on the Seashore – 10.30am, Mayo
Join Padraic Creedon from Leave No Trace on Bertra Beach. Learn how to identify different animal and plant species found on the shore and how that information can be used to help these wonderful habitats.
A Day of Action on Lullymore West Bog – 11am, Kildare
Join the Irish Peatland Conservation Council this Biodiversity Week at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre for a walk, talk and day of action on Lullymore West bog, a butterfly nature reserve in Co. Kildare.
Learn about the butterflies and bumblebees that call Lullymore West home, how to identify them and how the site is managed for wildlife.
Introduction to River Biodiversity – 11am, Cork
The Salmon is the symbol and proof of wise landscape management, as she depends upon pristine waters and a suite of similarly sensitive lifeforms. From Coomhola Salmon Trust, learn about the diversity of river life with Ecologist & Teacher Jessica Mason.
Woodland Walk at Belvedere House – 2pm, Westmeath
Woodland Walk at Belvedere House Gardens and Park, led by Diarmuid McAree of Crann – Trees for Ireland. A guided forest walk covering ecology, biodiversity, tree identification and more.
Dawn Chorus – 4.30am, Kilkenny
The Kilkenny Branch of BirdWatch Ireland is having a Dawn Chorus on 15th May in Jenkinstown Wood. Meet at 04:30 in the car park of the wood.
Biodiversity Walk and Picnic – 11am, Westmeath
Native Woodland Trust will host a plant and tree identification walk and then sit down to have a lovely picnic afterward!
Guided Herbalist Walk – 1pm, Meath
Join Herbalist John Maher at Sonairte for a herb walk and talk on the 15th of May where John will talk about the herbs encountered in the Sonairte garden and Nature Trail and about the role of plants and herbs in promoting and maintaining your health and their many other uses.
Dark Skies Stargazing and Lunar Eclipse – 8.45pm, Tipperary
At Cloughjordan Ecovillage there will be a short presentation on the impact of lighting on biodiversity and short videos on constellations.
Following the talk, those interested are invited to the Market Square in the ecovillage to stargaze with telescopes.
The event continues at the Sky Bowl at the Amphitheatre to see the lunar eclipse and, for those who want to, to wait for a spring dawn chorus.
Webinar: Human Nature – Nature Human. – 7pm, online
This public online event from Global Action Plan will highlight the importance of biodiversity for a healthy natural world. We will explore the relationship between biodiversity and human health and wellbeing, as well as examine the deep connections between biodiversity and Irish culture.
Bat Walk at Dusk – 9pm, Kilkenny
For a chance to experience the acoustic world of Irish bat species, Bat Conservation Ireland will be giving a bat walk at Kilkenny Castle.
There are bat walks taking place throughout the week all across the country. See all bat walk events on our calendar under the category ‘bats’.
Wisdom of Place, Medicinal Tree Walk – 11am, Tipperary
Local herbalist Rachel Hussey at Cloughjordan Ecovillage will take you on a journey to discover the fascinating health benefits of some of the common trees we walk past every day. You will learn about their medicinal and nutritional benefits, when to harvest and how to prepare them.
Why Polinators Matter – 7pm, online
Green Foundation Ireland invites you to participate in an evening online talk with guest speaker, Mary Montaut of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations
Walk with us through the Leitrim Way – 2pm, Leitrim
Good Energies Alliance Ireland is launching the Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project today! Walk with them through the Leitrim Way to discover the essential species that live there!
Cross-sectoral economic measures to support biodiversity in Ireland – 7.30pm, Online
This event will be an online discussion on broad economic measures (applying to the whole economy, rather than just the agricultural sector) which could make it easier for farmers to regenerate biodiversity on Irish farmland. Hosted by FEASTA.
Farmland wetlands: a multifunctional haven for local wildlife – 12pm, Limerick
Join the An Taisce EULIFE Team & learn how freshwater wetlands can benefit farmers while also providing important habitats for wildlife.
Composting 101 – 7.30pm, online
Composting is a fantastic way of re-purposing waste and creating peat-free, nutrient-rich compost for growing. This Biodiversity week take action and learn how to compost at home. Run by An Taisce’s.
Nature for Health Walk – 10am, Galway
Step into the wild with Friends of Merlin Woods. Nature for Health Walk. Bringing communities together to enjoy nature together.
Bat Walk at the National Botanic Gardens – 9.15pm, Dublin
Wander the Gardens at night in search of beautiful bats. Join the Irish Wildlife Trust for a free National Biodiversity Week event hosted by the National Botanic Gardens.
Land Based Whale Watching – 10am, Antrim, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Mayo
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will be leading several land based whale watching events around the country. Visit some the countries best whale watching spots and learn how to spot them from the shore!
Make your own Swift Box, Parent and Child – 10.30am, Dublin
Nessa Doran O’Reilly, programme manager at Rediscover Furniture (Rediscovery Centre), will help you and your child assemble a Swift box.
Biodiversity, your Health and Wellbeing – 12pm, Leitrim
Explore the importance of biodiversity for your health and wellbeing with Caitriona Kelly. Caitriona conducts the accreditated Therapeutic horticulture course at the Organic Centre.
Salmon Sanctuaries – 1pm, Cork
The salmon is one of our most iconic species! This event from Coomhola Salmon Trust includes presentation, discussion, field trip, viewing of the ‘Salmon Sanctuaries’ short film and free distribution of the Salmon Sanctuaries booklet.
This is the final day of the celebration, and is the International Day for Biological Diversity! A great day to wrap up the celebrations, with some fantastic events!
Community Action Day – 11am, Meath
Join Sonairte for a fun day out with free lunch and free training in 3rd schedule invasive species , followed by direct community actions to implement some of the actions in our Biodiversity Action Plan.
Ponds and Farmland Biodiversity – 11am, Cork
Visit Donal Sheehan’s farm and see what he is doing to increase biodiversity in farming practices. Part of the BRIDE farming with nature project. Organised by BRIDE and Cork Environmental Forum.
Biodiversity Bugs with Anna – 12pm, Leitrim
Family Fun craft workshop for Biodiversity day with art therapist and regular favorite Anna Mulvihill.
Native Tree Workshop – 3pm, Monaghan
Do you want to set up a small tree nursery? Or do you just want to grow a few of your favourite native trees? Join John McKeon and Irish Wildlife Trust to find out how!
National Biodiversity Week is funded by the NPWS. With thanks to the Heritage Council for their support.