This is the Education publications section. Here you can find all publications, reports and presentations for this heritage area of interest.
New Initiatives Launched to Safeguard Ireland’s Unique Hedgerows
Ireland’s unique hedgerow network is receiving the recognition it deserves with the establishment of a National Hedgerow Database and a Hedgerow Appraisal System which are available at www.biodiversityireland.ie.
Hedgerow surveyors and the general public can now utilise this resource to record details about hedgerows and keep a permanent record at County and Regional level. Anyone can then access general information on hedgerows from right across the country at www.heritagecouncil.ie and more detailed datasets at www.biodiversityireland.ie the websites of the Heritage Council and of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. In addition, a new website www.ecolandscapes.ie is also being launched to help the general public, local authorities, and schools create new woodland and other habitats using native Irish trees, shrubs and plants.
Ireland’s intricate network of hedgerows, primarily comprised of native trees, shrubs and flowers, are a unique feature of our landscape and vital for safeguarding our environment. It is estimated that there are over 400,000km of native hedgerows, some dating back at least a thousand years in Ireland and this supports a vast array of wildlife from birds and bats to insects, invertebrates and mammals. However hedgerows need to be properly managed to function effectively and many hedgerows are now under threat and vulnerable to destruction - especially from clearance as farming practices continue to change. Poor hedgerow management is also a reason for their decline as they need to be properly maintained using traditional techniques to ensure their health, vitality and proper functioning.
Ireland is one of the least wooded countries in Europe and hedgerows help compensate for this by providing an inter-connected habitat for plants and wildlife that is vital for woodland biodiversity. Most of our hedgerows were planted over the last 300 years or so following the enactment of legislation in the 18th century requiring landowners to enclose their land. However Heritage Hedgerows which are considerably older than the majority of hedgerows often have strong links with native woodland that date back thousands of years and are of even greater biodiversity and historical value. Irish hedgerows were managed for hundreds of years using traditional crafts such as hedge laying and coppicing. However these skills are being lost and need to be re-kindled so that the hedgerow network can continue to thrive.
“People need to be aware of the importance of hedgerows for our environment and health”, said Dr Declan Little, Project Manager at Woodlands of Ireland. “We take our hedgerows for granted and are losing the ability to manage them to get the maximum benefits from them”. They are generally man-made structures and they need to be skilfully managed and rejuvenated so that they function as effective farmland barriers and boundaries, as well as vital habitats and landscape corridors for a vast array of native plants and wildlife. The benefits of our hedgerows are enormous and provide a considerable range of Ecosystem Services ”.
The new initiatives launched today by Woodlands of Ireland, in co-operation with the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland, Ecological Landscape Design Consultants, the Heritage Council and the National Biodiversity Data Centre include:
•The creation of a National Hedgerow Database to house current and future records of detailed hedgerow data from across the country (on www.biodiversityireland.ie)
•A Hedgerow Appraisal document that includes a standardised hedgerow recording field methodology and guidance on analysing hedgerow data (also on www.biodiversityireland.ie)
•A repository for County and Regional Hedgerow Surveys accessible to the general public, which will be available soon at www.heritagecouncil.ie
•A website www.ecolandscapes.ie to encourage the general public, landowners, schools, local authorities and landscapers to create native woodlands and other habitats that enhance the environment and create vital habitats for wildlife
•An awareness campaign to educate landowners and local authorities about hedgerows, and the value of using native trees and shrubs in habitat creation
For those interested in the detailed hedgerow data sets, especially hedgerow surveyors, practitioners, contractors and ecologists, log on to www.biodiversityireland.ie to access data from the 15 County and Regional Hedgerow surveys completed to date. The Hedgerow Appraisal System and the Standard Survey Methodology template are also available at www.biodiversityireland.ie Of particular interest to members of the public and schools are the full text documents of all the hedgerow surveys carried out to date, which will be available at www.heritagecouncil.ie very soon.
Hedgerow surveyors are being asked to record hedgerows using the survey methodology template provided in order to ensure data consistency and quality. Woodlands of Ireland urge that all future surveys are carried out using the Hedgerow Appraisal Document and that all hedgerow data is deposited in the National Hedgerow Database. This will ensure that future survey data can be objectively compared with previous surveys and that there will be an increasing amount of valuable information available for all to access. The data will inform future hedgerow policy development and best management practise, including coppicing and hedge-laying. These skilful management techniques involve rejuvenating old hedges by cutting through the living stems of trees and shrubs, bending them back at an angle and binding them together to create a neat, strong hedge. These rejuvenated hedgerow barriers keep farm animals safely in their fields and provide shelter, as well as vital ecosystem services for the benefit of the wider environment and people.
For further press information contact Breda Keena on 087-6483134 or at Breda.Keena@menyma.ie
Woodlands of Ireland is a not-for-project stakeholder group funded by the Forest Service (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine), National Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) and the Heritage Council.
New Heritage Course by Loophead Tourism Network
Loophead Tourism network have developed A new heritage training course which begins this November facilitated by Zena Hoctor. Amongst Zena's qualifications are a Masters in Rural Development , a Diploma in Field Ecology, Diploma in Environmental Science, Diploma in Archaeology and a Certificate in Local History Studies. Zena has previous experience in the Loop Head Peninsula through the Marine Ecotourism, Irrus project.
This training course will enable participants to identify and utilise the heritage resources of their local area in the development of sustainable tourism products. The aim of this product development is to raise awareness of the unique heritage resources of the area among both locals and visitors. These products will be an add-on to our offerings here in Loop Head.
Ten initiatives will be chosen with up to two people working on each initiative up to a maximum of 20 participants.
Participants must demonstrate commitment to the initiative and follow through to complete the project.
Registration and project selection : Tuesday 12th November: 10am-1pm
Monday 18th and 25th November: 10am-1pm
Monday 18th and 25th December: 10am-1pm
Monday 18th and 25th January: 10am-1pm
Monday 18th and 25th February: 10am-1pm
Venue: Stella Maris Hotel
- A heritage plan will be developed by participants with the help of Zena during the project to be completed by the end of March. The aim is to present these plans to the network on completion.
- This heritage plan will outline the interpretation of the initiative. For example, a marked heritage trail, a travelling photo exhibition, a Loop Head heritage audit, the opening of a ring fort to visitors with interpretation, a holy well trail or a Loop Head antiquities trail and so on.
Obviously some funding will be required for these and that would be the next step for participants, to work as a group to follow through to project completion.
- The course will be a series of workshops and field trips.
The proposed outline is as follows, but this will most likely change depending on the initiatives chosen.
Identification and Recognition of local Heritage Resources
Session 1: Introduction to the heritage resources of the Loop Head
Session 2: The Geology and Landscape of Loop Head
Session 3: The natural heritage and biodiversity of Loop Head
Session 4: Man and the landscape of the Loop Head
Field Trip – Reading the Landscape
Interpreting local heritage resources
Session 6: Field Trip – Review of Current heritage interpretation on Loop Head
Session 7: Producing Interpretive products. Developing heritage resources for tourism/educational purposes.
Session 8: Identification of heritage plans/projects
Session 9: Developing local heritage resources
Promoting local heritage resourcesSession 10: Field trip
Session 11: Marketing and Networking
Session 12: Promotion through multimedia
Note: This is not a certified course.
Ideas for initiatives, based on heritage and arts workshop Feb, 2013:
- Pilgrim way around loophead, old churches, little ark, religious artefacts
- Marine archaeology on the coast, all buildings relating to the sea, piers
- Shannon Estuary is the largest mouth of a river in Britain and Ireland. Military history of area. This would attract Military history groups. Guarding loophead refurbish marine buildings the 3 lookout house buildings, lighthouse, the military aspects of loophead
- Traditional music and the Irish language
- Holy wells trail: Holy wells days, dates, what the cures are, what to do there, Saint Chaoi frog story.
- Loop Head architectural history. Story of our buildings.
- Henry Blake Project. Add voice to dvd. Organise event around this.
- Viking history of Loop Head
- Woodlands and landscapes of Loop Head
- Pre-Christian history, folklore, myths, tales of Loop Head
- Flora & Fauna of Loop Head
- Graveyards with genealogy links”
John Williams, Loophead Tourism network, Kilkee, Co Clare firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Consultation on Renewable Energy Begins
Dublin, 23rd October 2013
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte, T.D. today announced the commencement of the first phase of public consultation on the proposed Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework.
“I have previously stated that the views of local communities must be at the heart of the transition to renewable energy. As a country we have a potential opportunity to realise significant economic benefits from trading our abundant renewable resources with other EU Member States. This consultation gives all interested parties an opportunity, at the outset, to present their views on how we should develop national policy to realise this opportunity”
Written submissions or observations are being sought from all interested parties, including individuals and organisations, to assist in the preparation of the policy and development framework and the scoping of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report and the Habitats Directive Natura Impact Statement which will accompany the proposed policy and development framework.
The consultation documentation is available on a new section of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources website and has been made available to local authorities for display in their offices. The Minister noted that:
“Transparency in this process is crucial. Through the new dedicated section on my Department’s website, anyone can avail of the information on the consultation but also, on an ongoing basis, wider updates on the project to export renewable energy. In addition to this consultation, the public will have two further opportunities to contribute at key points in the process.”
The Minister reinforced the point that any proposed large–scale wind farms intending to export must await the putting in place of this framework, which will be underpinned by a Strategic Environmental Assessment.
The consultation will remain open until 22 November 2013.
Information on the process for preparing the Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework and the environmental assessments is available on line at tinyurl.com/nvnz8hc and has been made available to Local Authorities for display.
Written submissions or observations shall be clearly marked Renewable Energy Export Policy and can be sent:
By post to Alan Duggan, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.
The closing date for written submissions or observations is 17:30hrs on Friday 22 November 2013.
This consultation is the first of three public consultations that will take place as part of the development of the Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework.
The framework will facilitate An Bord Pleanála in making planning decisions on individual proposed renewable energy developments, regardless of location, of significant scale for export.
The framework will be underpinned by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which is a formal, systematic evaluation of the likely significant environmental effects of implementing a plan or programme before a decision is made to adopt the plan or programme. The SEA will be carried out by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources based on the findings of an Environmental Report. This is in accordance with the provisions of the relevant EU legislation, including Directive 2001/42/EC and the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations, 2004, as amended by the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011.
Any party wishing to submit a planning application for a proposed project of significant scale for renewable energy export will be required to compile an Environmental Impact Statement to support the application. In considering such applications, An Bord Pleanála will take account of the Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework underpinned by the SEA completed by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, as well as a project level Environmental Impact Assessment, before making its decision on whether or not to grant planning permission.
Work is progressing on signing an Inter-Governmental Agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom in early 2014 to facilitate export of renewable energy as a joint project as outlined in the EU Directive (2009/28/EC).
Ireland has just over 2,000 megawatts of renewable generation connected to its power system, mainly onshore wind farms. In the electricity sector, it has been estimated that between 3,500 and 4,000 megawatts of installed wind generation will be required to meet Ireland’s renewable targets, in addition to hydro generation, bio-energy, and renewable combined heat and power (CHP) generators
National Heritage Week 2013 set to reach record total with 1700 events nationwide
National Heritage Week 2013 which takes place nationwide from 17th – 25th August 2013, looks set to reach a record total of 1700 events this year, the majority of which will be FREE to attend. From dancing at the crossroads in Cork, prehistoric hunting games in Donegal, touring the tenements of Dublin City from 2013, learning about the Wicklow Gold Rush of 1795 to becoming a mini ranger for the day and exploring the wildlife of Clara Bog in Offaly… there is something for everyone to enjoy during National Heritage Week.
Speaking at the launch Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council said, “In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the understanding and awareness among the general public of the importance and impact heritage can have, both economically and socially. Heritage is not about nostalgia, or some misplaced aim to live in the past, but an opportunity to engage with our own story and in particular the natural and cultural heritage of where we live. The theme of Heritage Week 2013, ‘Discover the Past. Build the Future’ reflects this thinking.
With limited support, communities and organisations across Ireland have come together to animate the heritage resources on our doorsteps, often unnoticed and underappreciated. The value of the week is the sheer number of stakeholders from state agencies, local authorities, community groups and volunteers, that come together to host a public education programme that is open and accessible to all ages. In 2012, over 500,000 people attended Heritage Week events, with over 1700 events scheduled to take place we expect this year to be the biggest National Heritage Week to date.
Our hope is that through National Heritage Week, we can increase people’s understanding of how important our heritage is, to our understanding of who we are and to our economic well-being”.
The majority of events throughout the week are FREE to attend and there is something for everyone. You can…
•explore Loop Head Lighthouse, dance at the crossroads of Laharn Cross in Cork,
•take part in prehistoric hunting games including a spear-throwing game in Donegal,
•tour the tenements of Dublin City from 1913,
•sample medieval brewing learning about traditional ales and meads in Louth,
•explore Aras an Uachtarain, learn about fashion over the last 800 years at the Hunt Museum Limerick, take a boat trip on Lough Ree,
•hunt for fossils in the rockpools of Carlingford,
•take a look back at Moore Street during the 1913 Lock-Outs,
•listen to storyteller Niall de Burca’s magical tale in the Casino Marino, record your own story and leave your memories for future generations at the Jackie Clarke Collection in Mayo,
•get spooked by ghost stories in the Charles Fort Dungeons in Kinsale,
•learn about birds of prey as the fly over the seat of the High Kings of Ireland in Tara,
•go back in time and storm Trim Castle, become a mini ranger for the day and explore the wildlife of Clara Bog in Offaly,
•re-enact the 1798 landing of General Humbert and his French forces in Kilcummin and the subsequent ‘Battle of Killala’,
•tour Arbour Hill Cemetery,
•learn the traditional Irish craft of thatching in Tipperary,
•experience the daily business of being a monk in Lismore Waterford and learn about the Wicklow Gold Rush of 1795.
50,000 copies of the National Heritage Week Event Guide will be available in the coming weeks free throughout the country in Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices, Libraries, OPW Sites, Bus Eireann Stations, County Council Offices etc. Complete event listings are also available on the National Heritage Week website, www.heritageweek.ie and the free iPhone / Android app.
For updates on events throughout the week, competitions, and to see what’s happening near you log on to www.heritageweek.ie, download the free Heritage Week iPhone / Android App or follow us on Twitter @heritageweek / Heritage Week Facebook page.
Michelle Tritschler, MKC Communications, 01 7038604 / 086 3846630
Paula Eager, MKC Communications, 01 7038612 / 087 4109910
Isabell Smyth, Heritage Council, 087 9676889
A snapshot of some of the events taking place during National Heritage Week 2013:
•Clare - Open Day at Loop Head Lightkeeper's House Sunday 25th August 10:00 – 16:00 (FREE) An opportunity to view the conservation work of Irish Landmark. Self-guided tour of this restored C19th light keeper's house, now available for holidays. Child supervision required due to coastal location. Venue : Loop Head Lightkeeper's House, Kilbaha, Co. Clare. Organiser : Irish Landmark Trust, Caroline Crowley, email@example.com, 01 6704733, www.irishlandmark.com
•Clare - Victorian Day at the Seaside Wednesday 21st August 12:00 – 20:00 (FREE) Celebrating Kilkee's history as a Victorian seaside resort with a day of re-enactments, fancy dress, games and heritage walks.Venue : Kilkee, Loop Head, County Clare. Organiser : Loop Head, Laura Foley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 086 4099624, www.thelongwayround.ie
•Cork - What A Game That Was..., Saturday 24th August 10:00 – 17:00 (FREE) Denis O'Sullivan will put his Hurling and Camogie collection on display - including radio recordings, DVD footage and rare images. Don't miss this chance to meet Denis, chat and see this fabulous collection. Bishopstown Library, Wilton, Cork, Organiser : Cork City Library, Breda Hassett, email@example.com, 021 4924950, www.corkcitylibraries.ie/bishopstown
•Cork - Dancing at the Crossroads, Sunday 18th & 25th August 20:00 – 22:00 (FREE). Situated at the foot of Baelic Mountain, in the heart of North Cork, Laharn Cross is the location where people gather each and every Sunday night throughout the summer months to enjoy open air cross roads dancing. Large crowds step it out on the raised timber platform and dance the night away to live music. Waltzes, quicksteps, foxtrots, not to mention polkas, Shoe the Donkey and the Siege of Ennis, are the order of the evening. Laharn Cross, Laharn, Lombardstown, Mallow (Signposted from the N72 Mallow-Killarney road), Organiser : Laharn Community Action Ltd., John Paul O`Shea, firstname.lastname@example.org, 086 8903154
•Cork - Ghost Stories in the Charles Fort Dungeons, Sunday 18th August 16:00 – 16:45 (FREE) There are ghosts aplenty in the Charles Fort Dungeons. Storytelling led by guide, Kathy Soo-O'Brien. Limited availability. Not suitable for buggies. Charles Fort, OPW, Summercove, Kinsale. Office of Public Works - Charles Fort, Karen Healy, email@example.com, 021 4772263, www.heritageireland.ie
•Donegal - Prehistoric Hunting Games 2013 Sunday 25th August 11:00 – 14:30 (FREE but donations to support our heritage activity projects in the area are welcome) Competition of Spear-Thrower, approved by the World Atlatl Association Inc. The contestants will use archaeological replicas of throwers and darts. Also the event will provide a replica of a Mesolithic camp, with areas for children and a cooking area, based in Irish archaeology. Venue : An Bun Beag Beach, Tidal sandbanks of Magheraclogher beach. Organiser : Breochloch. Community Archaeology, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 028 90280217
•Donegal - 'Dancing by the Sea: the Rise and Fall of the Show-Band Scene' Saturday 17th August 18:00 – 20:00 (FREE) History Ireland hedge school focusing on ballroom and show-band culture using Bundoran as a nostalgic case study. Features guest speakers and local historians. This round table discussion has a large audience interaction element, welcoming input from locals and enthusiasts. Venue : The Kitchen Bake Bundoran, Main Street, Bundoran. Organiser : Discover Bundoran, Tom Dillon, email@example.com, 071 9841350, www.discoverbundoran.com
•Dublin - Guided Tour of Freemasons' Hall, 17th – 25th August 11:30 – 13:30 and 14:30 – 16:30 (FREE - Booking is essential as places are limited) Visitors will be guided through the rooms of this Victorian Hall, home of the headquarters of Irish Freemasonry since 1869. Booking is essential as places are limited. Venue : Freemasons' Hall, 17 Molesworth Street. Organiser : Grand Lodge of Freemasons, Rebecca Hayes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01 6795465, www.irish-freemasons.org
•Dublin - A look at the Tenement City Saturday 24th August 11.30-13.00 (FREE – booking required) Walking tour, Donal Fallon (Historical Insights/Come here to me!). This tour will explore tenements and housing in Dublin city historically, looking at issues such as the Church Street disaster of 1913. Starts at Collins Barracks and ends in O'Connell St (adjacent to LUAS). Venue : National Museum of Ireland , Decorative Arts and History, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Organiser : National Museum of Ireland/ Historical Insights/ History Ireland, Eimir O`Brien, email@example.com, 01 6486453, www.museum.ie / www.historicaltours.ie
•Dublin - Tour of Marsh's (with some 'behind the scenes' thrown in!) Monday 19th August 11:00 – 12:00 and Wednesday21st – Friday 23rd August 11:00 – 12:00. (FREE Tour General admission €1 ) A tour of the library, including the rooms not normally open to the public, an opportunity to view books of Irish interest and a visit to our garden. There will be only 15 places on each tour, so booking, by phone or email, is essential. In addition to this the library is open to the public as usual (except Tuesday) and there will be a special charge of €1. We will also be open both Sundays (18th & 25th Aug) 1pm-5pm. Venue : Marsh's Library, St. Patrick's Close, Dublin 8. Julie Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01 4543511, www.marshlibrary.ie
•Dublin - Children’s Day at the Aras an Uachtarain , Saturday 24th August 11.30 – 13:00 (FREE)Children's tour of the President's house and then a visit to the Garda horses and working dogs. Places are limited so please register by email. Meet at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre 15 mins before tour. There will be two tours this day at 11.30 and 2.30. Booking essential. Strictly one adult per child/children. Venue : Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Organiser : O.P.W, Terry Butler, email@example.com, 01 8155963
•Galway - Cruinniú na mBád Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th 9:00 – 21:00 (FREE) Galway Hooker Festival with racing of boats, Pucáns, Gleotóigs and Hookers. Re-enactment of old turf race from Conemara to Kinvara. The festival started in 1979 to promote the revival of the Galway Hooker and protect and promote our maritime heritage. Venue : Kinvara, (South) Co. Galway, Organiser : Cruinniú na mBád , Dr Michael Brogan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 087 2510922, www.kinvara.com/cruinniu
•Galway - Guided Tour of Mutton Island Heritage Centre & Lighthouse Monday 19th – Friday 23rd 11:30 – 12:30 (FREE) Children over 10 years only, please. Booking essential, by phone only. Maximum of 20 people per group. Assemble at Inner Gate 10 minutes before the tour. Venue : Mutton Island Lighthouse, Mutton Island. Organiser : Heritage Office, Galway City Council, Dr. Jim Higgins, email@example.com, 091 536401, www.galwaycity.ie
•Laois - The Night Sky Over Laois Saturday 17th August 21:00 – 23:30 (FREE) Astronomy outreach event for all ages featuring powerpoint presentations, videos, outside observing and use of large telescopes. If weather is rainy or overcast, the event will be restricted to indoors. Venue : Stradbally Library, Stradbally Co Laois. Organiser : Midlands Astronomy Club, Declan Molloy, firstname.lastname@example.org. 087 9931425, www.midlandsastronomyclub.com
•Laois - Kids Sean Nós Dance Workshop Friday 23rd August 11:00 – 13:00 (FREE) Workshop with Maureen Culleton for children aged 8 - 12 years on traditional Irish sean nós and brush dancing. Venue : Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise. Organiser : Laois Heritage Office, Maureen Culleton, email@example.com, 087 6482038, www.facebook.com/laoisheritageforum
•Limerick - 800 Years of Fashion Saturday 24th 14:00 – 15:30 (FREE) Learn about clothes from the past and the societies that wore them, from Elizabethan nobility to Medieval serfs! Venue : The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland St. Limerick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 061 312833, www.huntmuseum.com
•Longford - Boat Trip on Lough Ree Sunday 25th August 12:00 – 15:00 (FREE) A boat trip to visit some of the islands in Lough Ree. Booking essential. Please email email@example.com for bookings. Venue : Lough Ree. Organiser : Irish Wildlife Trust Longford Westmeath Branch, Noreen McLoughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org , 087 4127248
•Louth - Rock Pooling and Rock Fooling Saturday 17th 14:00 – 16:30 (FREE) Mix wildlife hunting with fossil hunting and even have a go at making your own fossil casts and tracks. Compare 300 million year old fossils with today's seashells. This event mixes biodiversity, geology and a little bit of craft. Wear good strong shoes or wellies for rockpooling. This project is part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Venue : Mullatee, Carlingford, Mullatee, Greenore Rd, Carlingford. Organiser : Action for Biodiversity in partnership with Mourne Cooley Gullion Geotourism, Abby McSherry, email@example.com , 0044 30313100 ext 3121, www.actionforbiodiversity.eu
•Louth - Medieval Brewing Demonstration Sunday 25th August 10:00 – 17:00 (FREE) Medieval brewing demonstration. Swing by to sample some traditional ales and meads and learn about how they were brewed in medieval times. Venue : Old Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. Organiser : OPW- Louth, Yvonne Mulligan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 041 9826459
•Mayo - In Humbert's Footsteps Saturday 17th 14:00 – 17:00 (FREE) A historical re-enactment of sections of the 1798 landing of General Humbert and his French forces in Kilcummin and the subsequent 'Battle of Killala’. Involvement of the French, Irish and UK navy ships with fully uniformed re-enactors and pikemen together with roaring cannons and crackling muskets. Street entertainment, music and fun for all the family. Venue : The Streets of Killala, Co. Mayo. Organiser : Killala Community Heritage Group, Aideen Ryan, email@example.com, 086 3815973, www.inhumbertsfootsteps.com
•Mayo - 'Record Your Story' Tuesday 20th – Friday 23rd 14:00 – 16:00 (FREE) 'Record Your Story': Calling all storytellers! Leave your memories for future generations at the Jackie Clarke Collection. Using our new recording booth, we invite you to share your stories, young and old. Local historians will be on hand to facilitate the project. Venue : The Jackie Clarke Collection, Pearse Street, Ballina. Organiser : Mayo County Council - Jackie Clarke Collection, Anne Marie Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 087 4133752, www.clarkecollection.ie
•Meath - Feis Teamhra Sunday 25th 15:00 – 17:00. The annual Feis Teamhra celebrates Tara with music and poetry from Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Susan McKeown and Paul Muldoon. Venue : Hill of Tara Visitors Centre, Tara. Organiser : Susan McKeown/Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown, email@example.com, 087 9345045
•Meath - Falconry on the Hill of Tara Sunday 18th 13:00 – 16:00 (FREE) Learn all about falconry, birds of prey and their role in the environment. Please keep dogs away from the birds! Come and enjoy these magnificent birds as they fly over the Seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Venue : Hill of Tara , Tara, Navan. Organiser : Office of Public Works , Joan Revington, firstname.lastname@example.org, 046 9025903, www.heritageireland.ie
•Meath - Storm the Castle Sunday 18th 10:00 – 16:00 (FREE) Join Dig it Kids (bringing archaeology and history to life for kids) in attacking Trim Castle. This is part of the annual Trim Town Walls festival (and will be a lot of fun). We will be running c. 45 minute fun workshops on the hour throughout the day (first come first served). Venue : Trim Castle, Trim, County Meath. Organiser : Dig it Kids, Stephen Mandal, email@example.com, 01 2968190, www.digitkids.ie
•Offaly - Mini Ranger Day Wednesday 21st August 11:00 – 14:30 (FREE) Explore the wildlife of Clara Bog and find out what it takes to be a Ranger. Come enjoy the boggy world of Clara with our award-winning mini ranger activity. You will meet our local Ranger too. Suitable for children from 7 - 12 years old. Please bring a packed lunch, water and dress for all weathers. You will need to book for this event. Venue : Clara Bog Visitor Centre , Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Clara, Co.Offaly. Organiser : Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Mary Healy, Claragu firstname.lastname@example.org,057 9368878,www.facebook.com/ClaraBog
•Sligo - Re-enactment: The American Wake Sunday 25th 16:00 – 23:00. At the American Wake in Dolly's Cottage we will recreate the scene with traditional music, song, dance and storytelling around the turf fire. Cost: Donation. Venue : Dolly's Cottage, Strandhill. Organiser : Strandhill ICA Guild, Margaret Flynn, email@example.com, 087 1308396
•Tipperary - Thatching Demonstration Sunday 25th August 14:30- 16:30 (FREE) Learn about one of Ireland's most fascinating crafts by joining us for a thatching demonstration on the lawn. Free access to the house by guided tour only. Venue : Swiss Cottage, Ardfinnan Road, Cahir. Organiser : OPW, Eleanor Morrissey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 052 7441011, www.heritageireland.ie
•Waterford - Monk-y Business Saturday 17th 11:00 – 13:00 (FREE) Children are invited to discover the daily business of being a monk in times gone by. Learn how the monks followed St Carthage to Lismore and built a great university. Crafty young novices will try their hand at making ink, decorating beautiful manuscripts and the art of calligraphy. Booking essential.Venue : Lismore Heritage Centre, Lismore. Organiser : Lismore Heritage Centre, Arlene Kenny, Akenny@lismoreheritage.ie, 058 54975, www.discoverlismore.com/
•Wicklow - The Week That Was: County Wicklow in August 1913 Wednesday 21st August 19:00 – 19:45 (FREE) A talk and discussion session presented by Jim Scannell on Wicklow society and current affairs as they were in August 1913. Jim is a prolific local historian with a special interest in Bray and North Wicklow and is involved with numerous community and historical groups. Venue : Ballywaltrim Library, Boghall Road, Bray.Organiser : Wicklow County Council Library Service, Ciara O`Brien, email@example.com, 01 2866566
•Wicklow - The Story of Wicklow Gold Friday 23rd 20:00 – 22:00 (FREE) A talk on the Wicklow gold rush of 1795 by Peader McArdle, former Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland. Based on his book Gold Frenzy - a fascinating talk about the many aspects of the gold rush story. Venue : Newcastle Community Centre, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Organiser : Newcastle Residents' Association, Miriam Johnston, firstname.lastname@example.org, 087 2214533, newcastlewicklow.ie
Call for Candidacies for the 6th European Greenways Award (EGA)
European Greenways Association (EGWA) announces the call for candidacies for the 6th European Greenways Award (EGA), 2013, which is organized by the EGWA in cooperation with the Comunidade Intermunicipal da Regiao Dao-Lafoes and with the support of the DG of Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission.
The objective is to promote examples of best practices and to support their replication for other greenways all over Europe. The European Greenways Award will be granted only to greenways under the Lille Declaration, as well as to initiatives already in existence.
This biennial award will recognize examples of best practices in greenways under three categories:
A. Excellence awards
Under this category the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded to three exemplary greenways that show the best integration of the various characteristics that define greenways, (art. 1) and which also demonstrate specific strengths which, in the opinion of the jury, make them exemplary.
B. Exemplary initiatives
A 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded to the exemplary initiatives carried out in relation to greenways. This category is open to any activity related to greenways in its broadest sense:
C. Special award, (*) Tourism product in greenways
A single award will be granted for a tourism product linked to greenways, aimed at either one or more of these trails. The objective is to promote the development and commercialization of high quality integrated tourism products related to greenways and to give visibility to these initiatives.
This special award is part of the activities included in the Greenways Product project, co-financed by DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission.
Deadline for Candidates : Monday, May 20th, 2013
Regulations and application forms available at: www.europeangreenwaysaward.org
Awards ceremony: 12th of September 2013, Viseu (Portugal)
Protected Areas have increased to cover one fifth of Europe’s Land
More than 21% of the land has some kind of protected status in the 39 countries which work with the European Environment Agency (EEA). However, only 4 % of the sea controlled by countries of the European Union is included within the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, according to a new report from the EEA.
A ‘protected area’ can be any area of land or water designated primarily for nature conservation. There are 105,000 nationally designated protected sites in EEA member and cooperating countries [external website], ranging in size from the 1.3 million hectare (ha) Vatnajokulsthjodgardur National Park in Iceland down to individual trees, such as the Kaèja smreka in Godovic, Slovenia.
Protected areas are important havens for biodiversity and vital to preserving some of Europe’s most threatened species, according to ‘Protected areas in Europe – an overview [external website]’, which looks at the status of national parks, nature reserves, biosphere reserves and other protected areas, including the EU’s Natura 2000 network [external website]. These areas can place very different limits on human activity. For example, some allow building, fishing and industry, while others are closed to most human intervention.
“Europe has a far-reaching network of protected areas which can provide refuge to some of the most threatened species,” EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade said. “However, despite a huge growth in protected areas in recent years, many of Europe’s species still face an uncertain future. Europe as a whole has seen more habitat fragmentation than any other continent. So we need to work harder to conserve species in the wider countryside.”
The EU has a target for 10 % of its seas to be designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), although this aim has not yet been achieved. Habitats further out at sea are particularly under-represented in Europe’s protected areas, the report notes.
Protected areas in Europe cover a huge variety of natural environments, across eleven distinct biogeographic regions, from the Arctic polar deserts and the boreal forests in the North to the arid or dense mattoral shrubland in the south. Vast tracts of steppe in Eastern Europe contrast with extensive heathlands in the West.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity [external website] and also the Habitats Directive. The Habitats Directive led to the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, which has been a major driver in creating and maintaining key areas for biodiversity.
Biodiversity under pressure
The EU aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and also work to slow biodiversity loss at the global level. Protected areas are important for meeting this target because they can provide a better environment for wildlife, which is increasingly under pressure in many parts of Europe.
The European landscape is increasingly fragmented [external website] by roads, railways and towns, blocking migration and dividing species into unsustainably small populations. Between 1990 and 2006, the area of Europe covered by artificial surfaces increased by around 8 %. Most dams prevent migratory fish species from reaching many inland river basins.
Agriculture has also intensified in many parts of Europe, leading to increased pollution from nitrates and other substances in some regions. This affects many species of plants and animals which are dependent on low-intensity farming.
Other environmental changes come from climate change, invasive alien species, overfishing and pollution. All these pressures can have a cumulative effect, in the worst cases pushing species and ecosystems into irreversible decline.
The benefits of protected areas
The earliest motives for protecting an area were probably to safeguard its spiritual significance or its importance as a hunting ground. What were once viewed as islands of wilderness are now increasingly perceived as parts of wider networks, involving and benefiting local communities. However, the intrinsic value of preserving nature is still a major motivating factor for setting up protected areas.
There are many other benefits of protected areas alongside protecting biodiversity. The report cites many positive side-effects, including economic benefits – for example, Natura 2000 sites receive between 1.2 and 2.2 billion visitor days every year, generating additional income of €50-85 billion.
Protected areas can also provide health benefits, education opportunities, clean water and air, and tourism. Marine Protected Areas can also increase the yields of nearby fisheries. A recent study by the European Commission [external website] estimated that the benefits of the Natura 2000 network to be 3-7 times the cost of setting it up.
For more information visit: www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/protected-areas-have-increased-to