The children of fifth and sixth class in Ballyvary National School had a day they will never forget on Tuesday, March 20, in the company of their teachers and local public agencies and volunteers.
This was the final event in a series of expos to highlight what the new Moy Trust involves, the agencies it will work with, and the role it aims to serve, particularly regarding education.
The children arrived by bus to the starting point and joined the greenway at N5 Tyres. Bikes and helmets were at the ready and the children ventured along Mayo’s newest section of greenway towards the museum.
On the journey they spotted moorhens, mallards, and a heron immersed in its fishing. Towards the end of the cycle along the Castlebar river a group of kayakers from GMIT and Moy Canoe Club carried out a demonstration and had a brief chat illustrating the way our rivers can be used for pleasure and activity.
Upon arriving at the museum bikes were parked and the children were met by several local agencies including the staff from the EPA Castlebar office and Sharon Cameron, environmental officer with Mayo County Council.
Kick sampling onsite in the local stream was carried out to educate the children on the flora and fauna that exist underwater, and how identifying them contributes to determining the quality of a watercourse. Inland fisheries gave a brief presentation about the fish that live in our waters, and a group of rangers from National Parks and Wildlife Service were also on site and chatted about the native animal species that live in our woodlands. Onwards then to a group of local anglers demonstrating the various methods used on rivers in the locality as well as a brief Q&A session.
After that the children met Martin, the falconer from Mount Falcon Estate in Ballina, who had a barn owl and a Harris hawk as well as Uisce, his gun dog. He gave lots of insightful facts as well as allowing them to come face to face with these native birds.
The children made their way towards the café where refreshments and healthy treats were provided by the museum. After a brief pit stop they then enjoyed a brief tour of the museum's fishing and boating artefacts.
The Moy Trust thanks everyone who participated on the day, especially the local water and communities officer Mike Kane who also visited the school beforehand and gave a classroom-based talk.
If you would like to get involved the trust is seeking people who are passionate about solving issues regarding water and the environment in the Moy catchment area. Contact Ciaran Boland at 086 3800034, email [email protected], or Gary Smyth at 086 8384684, email [email protected], for further information.