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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Bord Pleanala comes in for criticism

Tramore planning decision criticised (p16, WN+S); Planning Watchdog pulls plug on local development (p13, WN + S); Strong Criticim levelled at An Bord Pleanala (p2, ME). This just a sample in the newspapers for the week of the 9th December.

Ferrybank Residents complain over Unfinished Boundaries (p3, ME) that sounds familiar. How can be developers be forced to do what they said they would do?

The Kings Channel Habitat is well explained by Joe in his Views from the Brasscock (p7 ME). This is the second of two parts. Click on this link. For the first part, click here.

Kilkenny County Council have developed their mapping systems. Click on their Homepage and then go to maps. The layers include: OS mapping of different scales, administrative boundaries, planning applications, environment data, groundwater protection scheme, sanitary data, heritage, roads and infrastructure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Invasive or Alien?

From the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we welcome their excellent recent publication. This has an interesting article on Algae. If you want to find out more, check the AlgaeBase.

There is an overview of Invasive Species Ireland. The
Invasive Species Ireland project is a joint venture between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife service to implement the recommendations of the 2004 Invasive Species Ireland Report. Click on Alien Watch to submit a sighting. Another interesting section is the Most Unwanted species section. Under downloads, there are Best Practice Management Guidance documents and Codes of Practice...well worth a browse.

The Flora of County Waterford is introduced in the latest publication and begins with the records provided by Paul Green, vice-County recorder with the Botanical Society of the British isles. We look forward to the Biodiversity Mapping System being available to the public online to submit their sightings and to find out where the invasive species have already got to. The sneak preview at the recent seminar looked impressive.

There is an article on Biodiversity Tales which introduces the reader to the word licheneering!
Another interesting website is Non Native The best downloads here are the Identification sheets. Scroll down the homepage to the bottom.

Galway County Council have an interesting part of their
website called Alien Species. If you have a particular interest in the Zebra Mussel or Aquatic Invasives, there are some nice posters to download in pdf format.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All About Biodiversity

Bernadette Guest, Heritage Officer with County Waterford outlined the County Local Biodiversity Action Plan, Conserving our Natural Heritage 2008-13. You can download a copy from the Council website.
First she outlined the relevant legislation including such exciting documents as the Birds Directive, the Habitats Directive and the 2000 National Biodiversity Plan.
Two new publications could interest viewers:
  • The Economic and Social Aspects of Biodiversity: benefits and costs of Biodiversity in Ireland. (for more information check this weblink)
  • The Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland (download here)
What is of special biodiversity in County Waterford? Mammals such as the red squirrel, pine martin; the Killarney fern and the freshwater Pearl mussel. She outlined briefly threats as poor water quality, invasive species; drainage and infilling of wetlands.
Which parts of Waterford are designated for protection? An overview of Protected sites can be found on the NPWS website.
A full list of SAC’s, SPA’s and pNHA’s can be found on the NPWS website under Maps and Data. Search under Waterford in the Map Viewer. You can also look under Detailed results for Site Synopsis.
Bernie outlined the 3 Aims of the Action Plan:
  • Raising Awareness…Outdoor science week, Biodiversity Webpage, Biodiversity Day, Heritage week events
  • Addressing Information gaps…surveys and research, links with National Biodiversity Data Centre, WIT links.
  • Maintaining and enhancing Biodiversity….roadside planting schemes, creation of wetlands, retention of hedgerows in new developments.
Specific Actions under the plan have included:
  • Training for County Council staff and elected members to inform best practice for biodiversity e.g. hedgerow spraying, Bats and Bridges.
  • Compliance with Cathcment Plans for freshwater mussel.
  • Invasive Species seminar on November 22nd (as part of awareness programme)…see full details and download application form here. She outlined some of the main culprits such as Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and the Grey Squirrel. Dr Peter Turner is looking for volunteers to take part in this survey.
  • Publish Wetlands Survey (remember sitting in the same room years ago discussing this issue of lesser known, poorly protected wetlands)
  • Install information signage for habitats such as Tramore at public access points
  • Introduce measures to protect and enhance coastal biodiversity
Future plans include: Habitat mapping, TPO review and selected study of Biodiveristy sites with regard to best practice and enhancement.
If you would like to contact Bernadette Guest, ring 058 20839 or email to
Another interesting report that you might find interesting:
The identification of local Important Plant Areas (IPAs) in County Waterford 2008 by Paul Green (Recorder) and Una Fitzpatrick (National Biodiversity Data Centre). Download here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Annual General Meeting

You are invited to the AGM of the Irish Wildlife Trust, Waterford Branch on Monday November 10th 2008 at the Marina Hotel, Canada St., Waterford at 8 pm.

The AGM will be preceded by a talk:

by Bernadette Guest, Biodiversity Officer, Waterford County Council

If you want to view the Biodiversity Plan, check out the County Council website.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Talks about East Waterford

A Sense of Place.....Both the Waterford People (p16) and the Munster Express (p14) advertise the forthcoming talks about East Waterford running on Tuesday evenings at the Tramore Coastguard station. Next up is Bernadette Guest on Ornithological Waterford. Full listing also on the Waterford County Council website.
Some familiar faces can be seen in the picture with the caption: Range of Events mark European Mobility Week. The IWT organised Cycle gained prominence.(Waterford people p19).
For updated information on the Waterford City Bypass, there is a full page spread in the Waterford People. Also check out the City Council website.
Are you interested in Graveyards? On October 29th in Dungarvan, there is a Seminar on the topic of conservation and recording of Graveyards. At first glance, this might seem of little interest but they may areas of natural biodiversity. Full details on the County Council website.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Give it a Swirl Day

Some pictures featuring pupils from
Newtown School, Waterford with
Andrew Fleming from IWT HQ
removing sycamore and gorse from
Fenor Bog as part of Give it a Swirl

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More on KRM and Green routes

This weeks newspapers deal with the ongoing plans for city development put forward by KRM.
There is an interesting outburst by Councillor Mary Roche as she calls on WCTU executive to resign over their objections to the latest KRM plans. (p20, Munster Express)...also, Appellants still standing firmly against KRM plans in latest submissions (p19, Waterford Today).

Green Route plans are not cast in can always be undone. (p9, Waterford, News and Star)...draft plans for the Quays route will be on display in Bishop's Palace from 26th September to 7th October. The full Notice for Proposed development is on B11 of the Munster Express.
The Councillors not all that keen on Green Route Plan. (The People, p13)

Tesco Tramore to become first ecostore (p17, WN and S) will be interesting to see how they will reduce the carbon footprint!

What is a Dead Zone?

Councillors vent fury at 'dead zone' report. This is the caption used in an article that appears in this weeks Munster Express and refers to Dungarvan harbour.

Marine dead zones are areas of seawater that have become depleted of oxygen. Dead Zones are a global problem mainly caused by algal blooms fed by increased nutrients entering the oceans from agricultural fertilizers and sewage.
The worrying fact is that the Barrow, Suir and Blackwater estuaries are all included. the Colligan river also makes it into the 20 dead zones in Ireland.
For more information check out the website of Friends of the Irish Environment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wild Cycle in Waterford City

EU Mobility Week -Wild Cycle in Waterford City Sunday, Sept 21st From 16 to 22 September 2008, European cities and towns will have the opportunity to participate in the most widespread event on sustainable mobility, the European Mobility Week. It serves as an opportunity for participating cities to show how matters related to the environment concern them. Local authorities can present their urban centres in a different light and implement key actions aimed at encouraging the use of sustainable modes of transport and raising awareness on the environmental impacts of citizens modal choice. The theme of this year s European Mobility Week is Clean Air for All in order to highlight the effect that cars, etc can have on air pollution.

To mark the event, the Irish Wildlife Trust have organised a "WILD CYCLE" around some of the interesting nature areas of the city. All are welcome to particpate in this 7 km cycle from the Peoples Park on Sunday, September 21st led by Paul from Easy Wheelin Cycle Tours and members of the IWT. The cycle will begin at the Park at 1 pm, going to River Suir at Ballinakill, around the Outer Ring Rd. cycleway to Kilbarry Bog pNHA, and back to the park - approx 1 hour in total, including stops at the wildlife areas of interest along the way. Just turn up at the Park with your bike!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What is in a name?

This week sees two attacks on the rights of individuals and groups to object.
Developments on fringe of city went unchallenged (WNS p15): Greens, amateur green planners, greens, green people, concerns of small groups, democracy of one, one or two siren voices, Green Party.... some of the many terms used by the Phoenix in his editorial this week.
City Councillor urges serial objectors to see bigger picture in downturn (WT, p38): Hilary Quinlan who is chair of the SPC on Planning and economic development uses phrases such an unusually high number of often frivolous objections and appeals; a small minority of people; self appointed unelected unrepresentative planning watchdogs seeking to win long lost battles and score points for their own petty purposes whilst at the same time standing fully behind the provision allowing citizens input to the planning process,etc,etc.

We will need to keep an eye on potential development of Goughs Wood as:
Snowcream a victim of systematic stripping (ME, p1)
and No more Dairy for Waterford (WNS, p3).
Has anyone seen the new gate/fence on the riverwalk? Is this the start of the end or are the City Council about to begin work on the next phase of the walkway?

I have just returned from the 22nd annual conference of Caretakers of the Environment International held in Aalborg, Denmark. The theme was New energy and sustainability so I was interested in:
Solar: its the way to go (Views from the Brasscock byJPF in ME, p7) and Biomass boilers included in Greener Homes Scheme (ME, B6).
For more on the conference check out: //

For those of you with a camera: Blue Flag Beach Photo Competition 2008 (ME, B11)..take a snap of Clonea or Counsellor's in Dunmore before August 8th and email it to:

Well done to all at Fenor: Conservators of Fenor Bog receive International (Dutch) accolade (WNS, p25)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Biodiversity Park on the Horizon

This weeks local newspapers are full of: Plans for Biodiversity Park in City progress with €4 million investment. (p4, Waterford Today, p21 Waterford News and Star and p1 Munster Express) The plan is to link up the Johns river from the Park all the way to the Ring road, taking in the pNHA of Kilbarry bog and the old landfill site.
Tramore road flooding to be resolved at last (p14, ME)...clear indications that damage must not be done to the pNHA by widening the road but that the road will be raised.

Further out in Tramore, there is an interesting aerial photograph with the caption: Tesco Tramore changes approved.

Waterford Bats get the once over from Michael O'Meara (p15, WT) which is timely given the objection currently being submitted by the IWT!

Nichola Beresford samples the delights of Taking the Train (p6,ME) and like me actually quite enjoys the experience and the relief of not taking the car into the Big Metropolis.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Community Leadership in a Post-Carbon era

Facilitator: Marie Power
Community Leadership in a Post-Carbon era
This is a course for those who are or want to lead communities towards viable new ecologically sustainable urban and rural systems. The twin challenges of peak oil and global climate change require new skills and knowledge to build community resilience. This course aims to do that, using selected inputs - including film, current data, case studies and toolkits for action. It is based on the transition Town Model, which strives to empower people to deal with change in a positive way. Participants are invited to use a self-directed learning approach, and to strive towards using the skills learnt within their own communities and networks. The course is based to a high degree on the Transition Town model developed by Rob Hopkins (see The Transition Handbook "from oil dependency to local resilience." Green Books 2008).
Check out the website.
(Go to the Quicklink entitled Powerdown)

Course content
Peak Oil and Climate Change
“ What are they? Is there a safe limit?
Evaluating options for the way forward; Creativity in a time of climate change; Food production; Design for Change; Low carbon transport systems; Economic systems; Sustainable construction; Energy use; other related inputs such as Community Resilience “ What does that mean? Why small is inevitable." Local sources. Where does government fit in? Understanding the psychology of change; The politics of social analysis; Vision for the future “ the Transition Town concept" How to start a transition initiative in 12 steps.
Practical skills will include: Making the most of your public events; Writing a good press release; Designing productive meetings & teamwork skills; How to run an open space event; How to run a street party; How to run a fishbowl discussion.
Target audience
The course will facilitate:Community leaders (existing and potential); Professionals whose work is impacted by these issues; planners; environmental officers; organisational change managers and individuals who wish to learn more and to make relevant changes in their own lives.
Educators, particularly those involved in Jane GoodallInstitute's Roots & Shoots programme and the Green Schools programme.
Duration: 12 weeks, Thursday 7 to 9pm.
Qualification: Certificate of Completion.
Level 6 10 Credit Module Cost: €200
Closing Date for Receipt of Applications: 12 September 2008.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Climate Change Lecture Series

As advertised in The Examiner...the climate change lecture series available from the EPA website.

Climate Change Lecture Series Video Broadcast
The video broadcast of the first two lectures in the Climate Change Lecture Series are available to view.
Climate Change Lecture Series Programme
Climate Change Lecture Series Programme
Lecture 1 of EPA Climate Change Lecture Series 20th November 2007:
The Science of Climate Change - Facing the Facts - Dr. Martin Manning
Lecture 2 of EPA Climate Change Lecture Series 27th November 2007
Time for action? Options to address climate change - Dr Bert Metz
Lecture 3 of EPA Climate Change Lecture Series 22nd January 2008
Meltdown? - Evidence of Climate Change from Polar Science - Dr Eric Wolff
Lecture 4 of EPA Climate Change Lecture Series 5th February 2008
A World Transformed - The Consequences of Climate Change and Human Land Use - Professor Wolfgang Lucht
Lecture 5 of EPA Climate Lecture Series 26th February 2008
Technical Solutions: Grey Clouds or Silver Linings - Dr. Leonard Bernstein
Lecture 6 of Climate Change Lecture Series 11th March 2008
Gain v Pain - Political and Economic Consequences and Options - Mr Michael Zammit Cutajar
Lecture 7 of Climate Change Lecture Series 8th April 2008
Our Own Backyard - Ireland's Response to Climate Change Challenges and Opportunities - Minister John Gormley

Monday, June 23, 2008

Preserving Scenic Routes

Council bids to preserve rural character (p2, Munster Express)... the local authority is trying to preserve scenic routes, as laid out in the Waterford County Development Plan, when planning applications arise.

Taking the two-wheeled option to work (p6,ME)...Dermot Keyes leading the way. Lets have more of this.

Jobs, shops, restaurants, cinema, hotel proceed at Crystal West (p2, Waterford News and Star)...go ahead given by An Bord Pleannala on the old Crystal amenity site.

Help on the way for Tramore Flood road (p9, WNS) what cost to the bog?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Awaiting Planning Permission

The continued saga of planning issues fills the local newspapers.
Enironmentalists are set for a busy time in the next 12 months as they try to keep track of the mutiplicity of plans for the City and the County.
New City Quay has the best potential in Ireland , the development of the Ard Ri site on the North Qauys. (p2, Waterford News and Star); Bold €400 million Ard Ri hotel masterplan (p13, Munster Express, Waterford Today p1)
The Phoenix (p15, WNS) goes to town literally...City centre should be preserved for retail; Planning delays have led to decline (another dig at Bmac); and Speedy delivery is vital.
City developers still committed to project (p17 WNS); Work underway on Newgate Centre response to An Bord Pleanala (p17, WT); We were under no illusions (ME, B1)....the coverage of the KRM rethink.

Track destroyed as walkways controversy turns nasty (p4, WNS) that some landowners have been up to mischief, digging trenches on the Dungarvan to Waterford railway/ walkway. Hearing date set for railway line dispute (p1,7 ME)
Cliff subsidence closes access...this time its access to Councillors strand in Dunmore East not the perennial cliffwalk (p18,WNS; p20 ME) Mention also made of a new Tramore Race Course road which is currently in the design phase.
Green Route given Green Light (p12,WNS; p6 ME)...joining Maypark Lane to the Mall promoting walking, cycling and bus lanes.

Green Home improvements hailed by EPA and an Taisce (B4, ME)...launched recently by Minister Gormley.

Coast turns Blue and Green (p18,WNS)...well done to Clonea and Dunmore East who retained their Blue Flag status for the quality of their beaches. Also to Woodstown, Helvick Cove and Curragh beach, Ardmore which achieved Green Coast status.

Plan aims to make our natural heritage a priority (p27, WNS)...the County Waterford Biodiversity Plan has been formally adopted.

County Council Climate Change Strategy for 2008-12 launched (p13 ME)...also Sunny south east to get hotter and wetter.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wasted Water

The Irish Examiner newspaper for June 9th carries a very full treatment on its front page of where our local authority water goes. 685 million litres lost daily over leaks. Down the Drain...slipping through our fingers, heading straight for troubled water...a double page spread inside the paper.
Time to protect Green Infrastructure....growth has blighted landscape. (p18 of the Irish Examiner). Look out for the latest edition of Heritage Outlook for more details.

If you can get a copy of the Guardian, there is an excellent freebie on British Butterflys today and Moths tomorrow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Press Review, June 4th

Blue Flag for Tramore?
Bathing water quality improves with opening of new plant in Tramore. (p7, Waterford News and Star) The first steps to achieving the Blue Flag for a well managed clean beach were taken with the opening of the Tramore Wastewater Treatment Plant. Water quality figures for this year must achieve the minimum standards this summer during the Bathing season for the beach to have a possibility of the award for Summer 2009.
Shortage of lifeguards leaves swimmers at risk (p27,WNS)…this article would indicate the Council have a way to go yet.

City shopping complex will be scaled back (p6, WNS). Concerns submitted regarding the relationship between the proposed development and the surrounding cityscape were taken into consideration by An Bord Pleannala. Body blow for €280 million project (Munster Express, p2) is less optimistic. KRM developers called upon to amend planning designs (p1, Waterford Today)

Solar Power is the energy of the future (p21, WNS)…an interesting advert from Atlantic Plumbing about the benefits of solar and geothermal power.

People in Waterford to have their say on transport (p17, Waterford Today)…the future of travel links to the Greater Dublin area from 2010 to 2030. The opening of the new Carlow bypass will certainly extend the commuter belt ever closer to Waterford.

Opening of Crough Wood (WT, p7)…head along at 7.30 p.m. on 11th June to the Comeraghs for the opening of the environmental walk developed by Comeragh Development Group in partnership with Coillte, Leader, et al. I was very impressed by the river woodland scenery opened up by the walk.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Press Review, May 28th

Energy issues are high on the agenda in the local newspapers this week.

Energy saving features of Regional Sports centre to cut CO2 emissions (Munster Express, B8), a whole range of design and renewable energy features for the future.

Green Home project launched by Environment Minister (B6), a partnership between An Taisce and The EPA to promote green living in homes along the lines of Green schools.

Powerplans ambitious goal...€6 million investment to create Ireland's newest renewable energy supplier. (B1)

On the schools level, there is plenty of coverage of schools such as portlaw N.S. and Holy Cross, Tramore receiving their Green Flag.

Motorists chase the cheap fuel (News and Star, p4)...a portent of things to come?

Parking disc grumbles forces change (p9)....more pay and display parking areas using solar powered machines for ticketing.

Heritage Tourism should be developed at Woodstown (p15) .....not the beach, the Viking site.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Press Review May 16th

Waterford gearing up for active tourists (Waterford News and Star p16): Failte Ireland outlined their Tourism Infrastructure Development plans. Included are the Comeragh mountains Heritage trail, an upgrade of the Dunmore East cliff walk and a looped walk of the Tramore sand dunes. Whats involved...signage, information boards and improved access for all.
On the theme of cleaning up...Historic clean-up for the river (p24): a request by Cllr. Mary Roche for work to be done on the St Johns River.
Councillors Green Light for North Quays Project (p25)..the plans will go on public display for 4 weeks, so go and have a look, have your say in the consultation process.
Beaches under EU spotlight (p12): Tramore, Councillors in Dunmore and Clonea passed the first part of the Blue Flag when they achieved acceptable Bathing water quality figures during the 2007 Bathing season. Ardmore, Bonmahon and the main strand at Dunmore failed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Press review May 1st

Marie features again in the article on p9 of the Waterford News and Star: Forum puts Waterford on ecology Greenmap.
The Phoenix (p15) in their editorial writes about Delays to the planning process and recent developments at Bilberry and Barronstrand street. More about the Bilberry development can be found on p11 of the Munster Express: Bilberry rocket set to take off!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Awaiting the Sunshine

So the monitors are ready but where is the sunshine gone? 20 interested volunteers met in Fenor last Wednesday to find out about Butterfly Montoring. The scheme is being co-ordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre based at Carriganore.
The volunteers have selected their transects for monitoring and now await temperatures over 13 degrees before they begin their weekly recording.
The Irish Times Weekend review of April 26th has an article by Michael Viney: A butterfly flaps its wings, and exotic beauty unfurls.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In the Local Papers, April 23rd

The main emphasis in this weeks papers is on Future plans for development of Waterford City.

Upmarket in the sky, up the Rock (Munster Express, pp1-2) outlines plans for an €380m iconic development for Bilberry on the site of the old foundry. Rising from the Ashes (Waterford News and Star, p3) and €380 million development proposed for Waterford City (Waterford Today p1) deal with the same plans. Check out the scale model and images on public display April 23rd to 26th at Maritana Gate, Canada street. The initial plans do incorporate the light railway extension.

Architects scathing of North Quays scenario (ME, pB1). One of 13 submissions to the City Council on the framework plan prepared for the North Quays by Dublin firm, Loci. An interesting analysis of a longer term future.

Pennys site demolition permission is granted (ME, pB7), Green light for Penneys development at last (WNS, p35) …for full details check out

The decision about the KRM development have been deferred by An Bord Pleanala. (WNS, p6) (WT, p1)

The Greening of Waterford (ME, pB2) is about the aims of a new Bioenergy plan for the South East….17% of region’s fuel needs by 2020?

Your say in a 2020 Vision for Sustainable Travel and Transport (WNS, p 16) is an advertisement placed by the Department of Transport seeking submissions on the Action Plan and extending the deadline for consultation until 13th May.
Check out the website:

An Information Evening of Tidy Towns and Sli an Dulra (Golden Mile) Competitions will be held on April 29th at 8.00 p.m. in the Park Hotel, Dungarvan.

How do we handle our Heritage? (Phoenix, ME, p17) is an interesting editorial perspective.

Radon: the hidden Killer in your home (WNS, p23) is a timely reminder of the dangers of Radon in the Waterford area.

Duke to sell fishing rights? (ME p3) is a story from the west end of the County about the rights to fishing from Youghal up to Lismore along the river Blackwater.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In the Local Papers, April 17th

Congratulations to Marie Power whose mugshot appears in both the Waterford News and Star (p13) and the Munster Express (p2) in her role as Chairperson of the Waterford City Community Forum at the launch of Mapping out the City's Green Resources.
Well worth getting a look at this excellent publication.

The Munster Express (p6) has an interesting item about the Waterford and Kilkenny local authorities Uniting to save the Timber ( a reference to Tree Preservation orders for the remaining woodlands at Christendom in Ferrybank).

In the same paper, Worst ever as Dumpers blot Comeragh peat bog (p3, referring to the Nire Valley).

The Heritage Plan has been passed by the Waterford City Council (p13).

October opening for Tescos first ecostore in Tramore (pB1, check out the list of environmentally friendly features).

In the News and Star (p12), there is a short article on the D Day for KRM shopping centre plan (we await the verdict from An Bord Pleanala with interest).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Have you read the Coastal Protection report for Tramore?

The Coastal Protection report for Tramore was commissioned by the Heritage Office of Waterford County Council to review coastal protection at Tramore Strand in the South East of Ireland and the research was conducted by members of the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre and the Department of Geography of University College Cork. The objective of this study was to make recommendations to assist with contemporary coastal management issues at Tramore and provide suggestions for the future research programmes that would be required to develop an overall management strategy for the site.
Everyone should take a look at the 57 page report available to download in pdf format from the Council website.

draft Waterford County Biodiversity Plan deadline approaches

April 18th is the deadline for submissions on the draft County Biodiversity Plan. All IWT committee members are asked to get their thoughts in urgently to Coxerman.

Submissions should be received by 5.00p.m. Friday 18th April and addressed to;
Bernadette Guest, Heritage Officer, Waterford Co. Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford:
Further information by contacting the Heritage Office at 058 22000
The plan can be downloaded from the County Council website

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In the Local Papers, April 10th

John Fitzgerald has been busy in his letters to the editor. On page 12 of the Munster Express, he presents the argument for Pedestrianisation in Waterford City centre. On page 29 of the Waterford News and Star, he suggests that planners should go back to the drawing board with the Ard Ri Hotel replacement.
Joe Falvey has a good explanation of the Dunmore East Green route in his Views from the Brasscock on page 4 of the Munster Express.

The Business section of the Munster Express has two interesting articles: Cutting the carbon footprint can mean big cash savings (page B5) and Water...the new oil, written by Frank Convery of Comhar, the Sustainable Development Council.

More ideas on City development are expressed by the Phoenix on page 15 of the Waterford News and Star. Bus Eireann are extending its new eco-friendly City Fleet with a photo opportunity on page 1 of Waterford Today.

A worrying report on the poor quality of Waterford beaches can be found in both the Waterford News and Star (p17) under the heading Beaches fail the quality test, and in Waterford Today (p20) under the heading Government report worries about the state of Waterford beaches.

What do you think about any of these points? Have you anything to say?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What is the IRTRC policy?

Waterford County Council adopted the Integrated Rural Tourism and Recreational Complexes Policy as a variation of the 2005-2011 County Development Plan. (Can be downloaded from their website)

So what?
Well there would appear to be a plethora of planning applications coming on stream with the Garrarus Golf Course development just the thin edge of the wedge. Will the Copper Coast be next? Where will it all stop?

An IRTRC can be defined as a high quality tourism development located in a rural location which includes: a quality hotel (minimum 50 beds); a leisure centre/spa, conference centre; other facilities such as an 18 hole golf club or Adventure centre, marina or indoor recreation centre.
Developments have to comply to certain criteria listed in the Policy document which can be found on the County Council website. These include complying with the Scenic Landscape Evaluation and coastal development and landscape policies; it should not have an adverse impact on sites of nature conservation and so on.
The development should be sustainable and existing site features, including trees and hedgerows should be retained as far as possible to form a comprehensive landscaping scheme. There is supposed to be a presumption against holiday homes/second homes in areas outside of setttlements in Visually Vulnerable and Sensitive areas and along Scenic routes in the Scenic Evaluation map.
Any residential tourism development must demostrate that it does not place unsustainable demands upon the existing or planned infrastructure capacity of the area and does not conflict with the maintenance of the natural and cultural heritage of the area. Ground water quality must not be affected.
This is just a sample of the points listed in the policy. It is to be hoped that the peoples voices are heard by the Council and that only appropriate developments take place. For information about the ongoing Garrarus campaign, check out their website

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Barrow walk

The IWT April outing, on Sunday 13th, is a walk along the Barrow Towpath with Eamonn Moore, Chair of the Barrow Catchment Management Group and TAFI. This is a joint outing with An Taisce. All are welcome. This scenic walk will start from Ballyteigleigh Bridge, just outside Borris, at 2 pm and finish at Clashganney Lock, a walk of about 1.25 hours along the wooded valley of the Barrow. During the walk, we will hear about the ecology and history of the river, and enjoy this scenic and tranquil area.
The River Barrow is an SAC - Special Area of Conservation (site code 002162) - from where it rises in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, to entering the sea at Waterford Estuary. The Ballyteighleigh - Clashganney stretch passes the Oak woods at Borris Demesne, listed as a very good example of semi-natural broadleaf woodland, due to the high degree of regeneration of Oak and Ash. Under the Water Framework Directive, a management plan is to be drawn up for the Barrow, and all other rivers, lakes etc, to restore it's water quality and we will hear more about this on the walk.
We plan to hire a coach, leaving Waterford at 1 pm, returning at 6pm. Contact Marie at 086 8124275 / on or before Sunday 6th if you would like to book. (Cost approx. 12 euro).
Bear in mind that if you travel by car, you will have to get back to it at the end of the walk!

Introduction to IWT

Welcome to the new blog for the Waterford Branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust. Here you can post ideas and comments about environmental issues that matter to you. What is on your mind at it the Garrarus golf development? Is it the new Green Route proposals? Have you any comments on the draft County Biodiversity Plan? We look forward to hearing from you.
Check out the Waterford Environment Today website