What do we expect from Autumn? Leaves, nuts, fruit, fungi, colours and storms!
We’ve already experienced Storm Ophelia (or ex-hurricane Ophelia) which was one of the strongest storms to hit Ireland and caused a lot of damage in the south and south east of Ireland. Some homes are still waiting for their electricity to be restored. It is hard for us to imagine a week without electricity, though our parents and grandparents would have been well used to it (our own area being electrified in 1951). Today, Storm Brian, is passing through, he is not expected to cause as much damage as Ophelia.
Many large trees were felled by Ophelia. This year, we are told is a good seed year for oaks and beech. So it seems appropriate to try and set some seeds to replace some of those that have been lost. We’ve collected some beech nuts from some impressive local beech trees. We’ve also collected some sweet chestnut seeds but only found a few acorns so far.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if one day one of our collected seeds could look like this (we will of course be long gone!).
Beech tree at Turlough, Co Mayo
It had been thought that the native Irish honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera was extinct. However, research from Jack Hassett at the Limerick Institute of Technology has found that this may not be the case at all. Using DNA techniques, bees from three hundred Irish hives were examined and the vast majority were found to be a pure form of the native bee Apis mellifera mellifera.
This is good news and makes it even more important that we protect this unique population.
Honeybee on Lupin
Honeybee on borage
Limerick Institure of Tecnology
Irish Times article.
During the last week of August (19th August to the 27th August) Ireland will be celebrating National Heritage Week. This year the theme is “Nature and People”. Heritage Week, which is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council, is a celebration of all things heritage and involves people around the country organising events, walks and talks and much more (and many of them are free of charge).
I will be involved in a couple of events during the week.
Biodiversity in your Garden will be held at the Country Life Museum at Turlough County Mayo. This is a family workshop on Tuesday, August 22, from 11am to 12.30pm. This workshop is all about biodiversity, sharing practical tips and ideas on how you can help nature and planting some butterfly and bee-friendly pots to bring home to your own garden. This is a free event but booking is required. Telephone (094) 90 31751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details (name, address & phone).
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The Foxford Riverfest is an annual celebration of the River Moy held in Foxford, Co Mayo. I will be doing a wildflower walk on Saturday 20th August at 12 noon. No booking require. All welcome to this free event.
Finally, I will be doing a pollinator walk along the River Glore. Meet at Glore Mill, Kiltmagh, Co Mayo on Saturday 26th August at 3pm. Booking required. Click here for more details.
You can find out about events around the country at the Heritage week website.
22nd May is International Day of Biodiversity. Here are just a few of the recent highlights from the garden and further afield. There is so much wonderful biodiversity out there. Go and explore.
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Roscommon County Council Heritage Office are funding us to do two free workshops on pollinators. These workshops are ideal for those involved in Tidy Towns and local community projects, but anyone interested in pollinators are welcome to attend. Please pre-book as detailed below. While October is not a good time to see pollinators we hope to discuss lots of ideas of things you can do to help pollinators in your community.