Westmeath Tidy Towns ‘go wild’ in Tyrrellspass

Westmeath Tidy Towns groups took action for biodiversity, when they attended a recent Make it Wild workshop in Tyrrellspass.

Joanne Pender of the Irish Wildlife Trust gave a presentation on the meaning of biodiversity and facilitated the groups in preparing outline plans for their own sites. Padraig Fogarty (IWT ) then provided hands-on, practical instruction on how sites can be developed and nurtured to provide habitats for flora and fauna.

Various locations around Tyrrellspass were examined, including a wooded area, and Clocrow Bog, which is a Special Area of Conservation. Special thanks must go to Tyrrellspass Tidy Towns for identifying these locations.

Biodiversity is a term intended to describe all of nature's variety. The Make it Wild programme is about improving biodiversity in areas like gardens, green spaces, and derelict spaces, and inspiring people to take action for wildlife in their own local area. Biodiversity comes under threat through habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution, and over-harvesting of natural resources.

At the workshop each of the participating groups was presented with a biodiversity bird box by Westmeath County Council. These bird houses replicate natural shelters for birds and create a safe and easy place for birds to live.

Westmeath County Council’s environmental awareness officer, Ms Bernadette Ginnell, said, “Starting your own wildlife area could be your way to make a contribution and halt the loss of Ireland’s biodiversity. By making a few simple changes, you can attract a wide variety of wild plants and animals into your garden or area of land”.

The workshop was jointly funded by Westmeath County Council and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, under the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund.

Further information on biodiversity is available from the Irish Wildlife Trust by logging on to www.iwt.ie

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