Tag Archives: nature

National Biodiversity Week

We are already half way through Ireland’s biodiversity week, and computer issues and work have meant that I am only now getting around post about it. Biodiversity Week, which runs from 17th to the 27th May 2018, aims to celebrate all of Ireland’s wonderful biodiversity and looks at connecting people with nature. There are lots of events, walls, talks and workshops.

There are many simple things you can do to connect with nature in your own garden. Since starting my garden here 13 years ago, one of my main aims has been to increase biodiversity.

Here are some of my tips.

  • Plant trees. Fruit trees are a great option as they provide spring blossom for many pollinators and of course fruit later in the season.
Green veined white on apple blossom

Green veined white on apple blossom

  • Plant flowers. I love native wildflowers and have flowers meadows as well as including wild flowers in my flowers beds and vegetable patch.

Meadow

  • Plant a hedge. We have blackbirds, and dunnocks nesting in our hedge this year.
hedge with climbing rose

hedge with climbing rose

  • Dig a pond. Ponds attract frogs, newts and many aquatic insects including amazing dragonflies.
Frogs in pond

Frogs in pond

  • Put up some bird, bat and solitary bee boxes.
bee box

bee box

  • Get involved in some citizen science Programmes.  This week the National Biodiversity Data Centre are encouraging everyone to send in their butterfly records.

Enjoy nature!

 

 

 

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Encrusted

The photograph below shows hawthorn branches encrusted in various different lichens. Trees are not just trees, but living ecosystems in their own right.

There are at least eight different lichens here, and these are all on the same tree! It is estimated that there are 1,165 species lichens growing in Ireland, so maybe eight on one tree isn’t that many after all!

 

 

Beach

Summer days on the beach seem a long and distant memory now, as the haws ripen and the rain falls. As a family, beach days are one of our favourite types of days. Even a winter walk on the beach can be exhilarating. I am not sure what the magic is. It has something to do with the space and freedom – there are few boundaries. The smell, that ozone filling your nostrils. The feel of the sand on your bare feet. And of course the water, even if it is just a paddle that numbs your toes.

So for this week’s One A Week Photo challenge, a gallery of beach photos to help me remember some of those great days.

Union Wood

A couple of weeks ago we visited Union Wood in County Sligo. The bluebells were amazing.

Union Wood is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to the presence of old sessile oak woodland. Today,  the woodland is mixed and includes commercial forestry and is part owned by Coillte and the NPWS.

The wood was once part of the Cooper Estate, The Cooper family had acquired the land in the mid-17th century under the Cromwellian settlement. Prior to which it was owned by an old Irish family, the McDonaghs.

There are two looped walking trails to enjoy, one 4km and the other 5.5km long.

 

 

Celebrating International day of Biodiversity

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.

Enniscoe House

Enniscoe House and Estate can be found near Crossmolina in Co Mayo, on the shores of Lough Conn.  Steeped in heritage the Georgian house dates from 1790 and today is run as a family hotel. We visited a couple of weeks ago to take part in a bumblebee workshop (held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre). The second half of the day involved looking for and identifying bumblebees.  It also allowed us to enjoy the grounds including the beautiful woodland, but especially the organic walled garden. The garden is divided into two; first the formal garden or pleasure grounds, and secondly the vegetable and impressive fruit growing area. Strawberries, apple trees and currants were all in bloom.  The garlic was huge in comparison to my own! And the potatoes were coming on very well.

Enniscoe is also the location of the Mayo North Heritage Centre, where people can go and explore their North Mayo ancestors / genealogy. There is also a looped walk, a museum and all important tea rooms.