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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