Biodiversity Awareness Event Leitrim

Category : Yosef Dvores

Leitrim Biodiversity Awareness Event

The team at Veri Connect facilitated, in part, a Biodiversity Awareness Event to celebrate Leitrim’s unique nature, thanks to The Leitrim Development Company.  This event gave participants the opportunity to learn about biodiversity awareness in Leitrim and why it is so important. This one-of-a-kind event workshop took place in the incredibly biodiverse surroundings of Leitrim’s own renown, The Organic Centre, on Sunday 16th October. 

The highlight of the event featured a walk and talk with the famous ecologist Éanna Ní Lamhna, whose wisdom and infectious passion for Irish nature and biodiversity awareness has captured the fascination of Ireland for years.  There were demonstrations happening throughout the evening, teaching people about our important pollinators, wildflower identification, the health of our rivers, gardening for nature and more.

Biodiversity, plainly put, is the variety of life, and the interconnectedness of this variety weaves together the fabric of stable life on earth. Biodiversity is arguably the most important thing to cherish and celebrate, because it encompasses all of life. Spreading biodiversity awareness is vital to ensure action is taken. Leitrim holds some of the most incredible biodiversity in the country. 

This small county is a stronghold for many species of mammals, birds, fish and insects that have little room left in the rest of the island. Leitrim is lucky to have some of the healthiest hedgerows, rivers, woodlands and bogs in the country. It also holds the most biodiverse grasslands for any county. 

The Biodiversity Awareness Event was the cumulative finale to the Connecting with Nature Workshop Series that was delivered, facilitated and managed by Veri Connect for the Leitrim Development company. These free workshops have been connecting people with biodiversity across Leitrim over the past several weeks. The workshops included:

Biodiversity Awareness

Workshop 1 - Introduction to Biodiversity

The first workshop was a very successful introduction to the incredible biodiversity Leitrim has to offer, with many unique ecological aspects of the county presented. The theme of Leitrim being a biodiversity stronghold in Ireland was strengthened through a discussion of biodiversity services in the area, a talk about the history of biodiversity in Ireland and demonstrations of different flora and fauna to increase biodiversity awareness.

The evening finished with a very fortunate bat walk and talk where the group stopped at a roost site and saw a whole colony of bats emerge one after the other and circle above.

Participants felt a sense of awe for the natural surroundings they live in. They were happy to learn more about the county and about the rich biodiversity around them. The bat walk was a highlight for most people.

Workshop 2 - Biodiversity In Action

The second workshop presented topics of stream health, invasive species, and citizen science. The workshop had two guest speakers, Citizen Science Stream Index expert Brendan McSorley and Local Authorities Waters Programme officer Karen Kennedy. The three tutors at the workshop allowed for very good interpersonal engagement with the participants throughout the hands-on learning.

Participants were enthralled with the interactive aspect of the workshop, where they learned how to catch and identify the insects living in the stream. They were amazed to learn about all the life that can be found within a stream. Participants were happy to come away with the knowledge required to participate in the Citizen Science Stream Index.

Workshop 3 - Pollinators

The third workshop focused on teaching people about all of Ireland’s unique pollinators at Acres Lake. Interesting facts about pollinators were presented to the participants as the group toured around the lake. 

All the participants had a chance to catch and identify bumblebees. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the opportunity to get up close and personal with Ireland’s favourite pollinators. Participants were delighted to know more about the importance of pollinators while physically seeing and holding specimens.

Workshop 6 - Farming for Biodiversity

The farming for nature workshop took place at Michael McManus’s farm where he talked about the benefits of farming with nature. He also described organic farming in Leitrim and the importance of farming for enhancing biodiversity. Furthermore, Michael encouraged the fact that every farm has it’s own unique natural importance. At the end of the workshop, Michael showcased the natural spring found on his land and talked about its importance and how similar springs found all over Leitrim are a special heritage worth protecting and appreciating.

The participants were intrigued by the link between farm management and biodiversity and asked many important questions. Participants were uplifted from gaining insight into farming as a means to conserve and promote biodiversity.

biodiversity awareness

Event Day - Connecting with Nature

The biodiversity awareness event was the cumulative finale to celebrate biodiversity in Leitrim. Members of the public got to experience demonstrations on biodiversity around The Organic Centre grounds.

The open aspect of the day allowed for participants to take part in the demonstrations at their leisure. This meant that the participants felt relaxed and embracive about all they had learned.

The highlight of the event was a walk and talk by Éanna Ní Lamhna. People who joined the walk and talk were inspired by Éanna’s wisdom and infectious passion for Irish nature.

The event was a huge success for everyone involved. It allowed people the opportunity to unite and connect and share their interest in Leitrim’s Biodiversity.