Tag Archives: Heritage week

Homage to Heritage Week

Today, Sunday, 27th August makes the end of Ireland’s 2017 Heritage Week. Thank you to all those that attended the three events I was involved in over the last nine days. Yesterday, we enjoyed our pollinator walk along the River Glore. While Carder bees were plentiful other bees were very scare. But we did see lots of peacock butterflies, one speckled wood and one red admiral.

Lots of us got up close and personal with some great minibeast at the Country Life Museum, at our biodiversity event and the children all went home with some flower seeds potted up to help our pollinators next year.

Last weekend we saw plenty of wild flowers along the banks of the River Moy at the Riverfest.

This post was my own little homage to the Heritage week.  It is a great way to get people out and about exploring their own local heritage, be it nature, built heritage, geology, what ever it is. While I look forward to doing it again in 2018, it is important that we all continue to get out and explore the wonderful heritage Ireland has to offer. One thing you can do is Make a Pledge for Nature. The Heritage Council is asking each of us to make a small pledge to help nature in our gardens, or communities.

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Heritage Week Events

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 educationtph@museum.ie with your contact details (name, address & phone).

Green veined white

Green veined white

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.

tortoishell 3

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.

 

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You can find out about events around the country at the Heritage week website.

 

 

August Wildflowers

This week in Ireland we celebrate Heritage Week. A week of celebration of all our Irish heritage, nature, history, people and more.

A big thank you to all those who attended the wildflowers walks I was involved in over the weekend at the Foxford Riverfest and Glore Mill near KIltimagh. It was wonderful to see so many interested people, both young and old.

A couple of people mention was how lovely it is to learn the names of plants but then how easy it is to forget, days later. So I thought I’d put together a post of some of what we saw to help.

Purple Loosestrife

One of the favourites. A great plant for bees and butterflies. Purple Loosestrife likes damp ground, and can be often seen in large clumps. Meadowsweet (see below), likes similar conditions and they are often found together. Loosestrife has a high tannin content and was used for tanning leather. The flowers were used for making a dye.

Meadow Sweet

It’s well worth stopping to smell this flower, it has a heavy almost intoxicating scent! It gets it name from “mead sweet” – because it was used to flavour and sweeten mead. It was also added to wines and ales. In folk medicine it was used as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. It contains salicylic acid, which was synthesized into aspirin.

Tufted Vetch

Another great bee plant. We have many different vetches in Ireland and Tufted vetch is one that flowers later in the season. All vetches are legumes and can fix their own nitrogen.

Willowherb

Willowherb

Willowherb

We have a number of willowherb species growing in Ireland. Willowherbs are also visited by bees. The leaves have been used to make tea. It is popular in Russia and know as Kaporie tea. Some species such as rosebay willowherb can be a bit invasive.

 

 

 

 

Ragworth

Ragworth can be toxic to livestock. They know not to eat it but if cut in hay or silage it can be accidentally eaten. However, quite large quantities need to be eaten for it to have it’s toxic effect. though horses seems particularly sensitive. Cinnabar moth caterpillar use this toxicity to protect themselves from being eaten. These brightly coloured caterpillar that only feed on ragworth. Ragworth has been used in folk medicine too. It’s visited by hoverflies and some some solitary bees.