In review: what’s on this National Biodiversity Week

Published by Catherine O'Toole on

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

Friday 13th

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.

Event link

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

Event link

Saturday 14th

Quilty Beach Seagrass Discovery Fieldtrip – 9.40am, Clare

Discover a seagrass meadow! Wade amongst the shallows and see what life this marine meadow supports!

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Sunday 15th

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.

Event link

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!

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Monday 16th

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

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’.

Tuesday 17th

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.

Event link

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

Event link

Wednesday 18th

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!

Event link

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.

Event link

Thursday 19th

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Friday 20th

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Saturday 21st

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!

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Sunday 22nd

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.

Event link

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.

Event link

Biodiversity Bugs with Anna – 12pm, Leitrim

Family Fun craft workshop for Biodiversity day with art therapist and regular favorite Anna Mulvihill.

Event link

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!

Event link

National Biodiversity Week is funded by the NPWS. With thanks to the Heritage Council for their support.

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Categories: Feature

Catherine O'Toole

Catherine is a contributor to the Green News. She has a BA in Photography from DIT and has a keen interest in conservation photography.