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Monday, December 19, 2011

New wildlife pond

Over the last two Mondays, a new wildlife pond has been created by IWT local volunteers in conjunction with St. Saviours School, Ballybeg. Leighton Roche, John Hoban and Marie Power worked with Senan and the 4th class pupils of Mr Gough's class to create a wildlife pond in the school grounds. The pond is planted with bogbean, iris and oxygenating hairgrass, and it is hoped will support frogs and newts in time. Water and web of nature classes were carried out with the class to help explain the ecological context for the pond.

Some new planting, as well as biodiversity classes were carried out in St. Ursulas School. The pond created there a few years ago, was populated with goldfish , so these are now removed to another location and native plants - iris and water forget-me-not - were introduced to increase the biodiversity of the pond.
A protective grid is now being sought to prevent accidents. If you know anyone who has one to spare, or who can make one, we would like to hear from you.

Special thanks are due to Leighton and John who did the hard work of digging the pond!

Biodiversity maps

The latest release of Biodiversity Maps now includes a function to report on what species have been recorded in an area of land. Register as a user of Biodiversity Maps and this allows you to generate a report on designated sites (SPAs, SACs, NHAs, and Nature Reserves), squares of the national grid (10km, 2km and 1km resolution) and for any townland in the country.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December Family treat

Waterford Irish Wildlife Trust held a Christmas outing especially for families and the children of members and friends on Sunday December 18th.  The outing consisted of a one mile walk to the Harrington deer herd just outside Dunhill, a visit to the deer herd,   a tasting of Chough farm products and  festive refreshments.   We then returned to Dunhill for a social gathering over some mince pies.  
Ray introducing IWT
Short walk along the road

The fast section into the pool, a fish delight

Mary with river Anne in background

New constructed wetland for private house
Ray holding forth
Bamboo, another invasive or an ornamental?

The deer we all wanted to see,Sika, an invasive?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December walk

The Irish Wildlife Trust in conjunction with MISE (Mammals in a sustainable environment) are hosting a training day and walk to spot otters on Sunday December 11th.  The meeting point is at the carpark at the Waterford Island Castle Ferry at Ballynakill which is about 2 miles from the city centre.  Follow the Dunmore Road past the Hospital.  The third main turnoff on the left, past the hospital is signposted for Waterford Castle.  Follow this sign. The meeting time is 11 a.m.  Members of the general public who would like to know more about otters and otter surveying are very welcome on this walk which will last about 2 hours.  Reservations are necessary.  Please call Ray at 051-382629 before Saturday December 10th.  Please bring your wellingtons and waterproofs. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pix from Inistioge

Thanks to Denis for giving us a flavour of the walk in Inistioge.

The branch outing on Sunday November 21st was to Inistioge. Denis Cullen led a walk along the start of the South Leinster way, then through Woodstock Woods and garden. Over 30 walkers enjoyed views of the Nore in spate, trees still with beautiful autumn colour and very attractive notice boards erected by Insitioge Tidy Towns group, illustrating the wildlife and plants of the area. These include otters, kingfisher and autumn crocus - a protected species.

Next outing is the otter survey in Waterford City on December 8th. Watch this space for details.
The NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) are one of the bodies involved in surveying mammals  along with the National Biodiversity Data Centre based in Carrickanore. You can also click here for details on initiatives from the Heritage Council.
The new project that focuses on otters is part of the Mammals in a Sustainable Environment project. They have a Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Badger the Minister

Press Release

7th November, 2011

‘BADGER THE MINISTER’ - The Irish Wildlife Trust calls for an end to badger culling in Ireland
In these difficult times did you know that your taxes are being used to pay 75 government staff to snare and kill badgers in Ireland?
The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is opposed to badger culling and the use of snares as a badger control. Not only is it barbaric and unethical, recent findings have shown it to be ineffective in the war on bovine TB. Badgers can die over extended periods struggling in these hideous devices while their young starve underground. Nobody has ever counted badgers accurately in this country.  While it has always been assumed that they are common animals, this can no longer be taken for granted.

·      115,000 badgers have been killed by the Irish Government since 19841
·      6,000 snares are set in Ireland every night2
·      €70 million of citizens money has been allocated to disease eradication programme this year alone3
·      Badgers are protected by Irish and European law

The IWT wants this practice to stop immediately. It is cruel, wasteful and damages Ireland’s reputation for its ‘green island economy’. The IWT recognise that bovine TB is a major problem for Irish farmers but it also must be recognised that culling does not work. Resources should be focused on a national vaccination programme. Faulty science and politically driven motives should not be used as excuses for slaughtering our wildlife.
Help the Irish Wildlife Trust ‘Badger’ Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney to stop this dreadful practice by signing this online petition at:
You can learn more about badgers in Ireland and the impact of culling on You can also donate to our campaign and be in with a chance to win a specially commissioned oil portrait of a badger family by Ireland’s top wildlife artist Morgan Gibbs.

If you’d like more information about this topic, please call Conn Flynn at (01)8602839 / 0878142343 or email  Conn at
2. Coughlan, M., Written Answers. Debates of the Houses of the Oireachtas, 2007. 632(4).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autumn edition of Magazine

The August edition of Irish Wildlife is full of interesting articles as always. The update from Joanne Pender on wetlands is timely. The article by Mark McDowell is of particular interest to all those who have fought for retention of hedgerows: Green veins of Ireland. Anarchy in the UK is not an article about the British political system but on Badgers. For anyone who has taken a trip over to Inishbofin, there are some thoughts from Gordon Darcy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Going Batty

Did you know it was the year of the Bat...check out this link.

Bat Walk at dusk. Bring a torch and outdoor shoes and dress warmly. 28th of August, 19:00 – 22:00

Join the Irish Wildlife Trust Bat Specialist, Conor Kelleher, on a Bat Wild Watch Walk and discover a wilder Ireland on your doorstep. To coincide with Heritage Week between the 20th and 28th of August, the IWT is celebrating our national biodiversity with our third annual series of Wild Watch Walks.
Venue: Meet at Tullahought Community Hall at 7 pm then on to Slate Quarries, Kilmoganny, Co. Kilkenny.

Directions: Tullahought can be reached from Tipperary and West Waterford via Carrick-on-Suir by taking the R697 north from the town  (10 - 15 mins from Carrick) and from Waterford City  via Piltown and Owning (30 mins from City).
Admission: Free but booking is essential to secure your place please email or call the contacts below:
Telephone: 0868124275

The IWT would like to thank the Heritage Council for supporting these events under the Heritage Education, Community & Outreach Scheme 2011.

Friday, June 17, 2011

May apologies

With apologies to punters and for the record, successful May outings took place

....on Sunday May 15th. Pond Dipping and a woods habitat exploration followed by a two hour walk along a section of the legendary Bothar na mBan gorm near the Harristown Passage Grave. The location was Belle Lake on the Waterford to Dunmore East road. This was a fascinating insight into local ecology and history. Walk leader for the day was Alan Walsh.
....and on May 22nd , the Cheekpoint and Faithlegg Development Group and the Irish Wildlife Trust joined forces to experience the Dawn Chorus. Denis Cullen, Birdman with the Irish Wildlife Trust lead a dawn chorus stroll though the Glazing Woods, the Marsh and the Rope Walk.

Coastal walk

The June walk of the Irish Wildlife Trust took place on Sunday 26th along the cliff path between Ballymacaw,  Rathmoylan Cove and Portally.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Farm villages , Fishing Traditions and Landscape of the lower Suir valley in South County Kilkenny.

IWT Outing -- Sunday March 20th

The Farm villages , Fishing Traditions
and Landscape of the lower Suir valley in South County Kilkenny.

The March outing took us to Co. Kilkenny, where we walked around the farm villages with local historian, Joe Sullivan, stopping to hear more about the history, seeing the banks people walked on, heard about traditional fishing on the Suir, the geography of the area and river. This area has the highest concentration of thatched houses in Leinster and retained many traditions into the last century.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saleens walk

Thanks to Dennis for the two pictures from the walk today from the Saleens to Brownstown Head.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Irish forests under threat

The Irish Government is moving closer to a huge sell-off of the public forests managed by Coillte (The Irish Forestry Board) to private investors. An area greater than 1 million acres, equivalent to two medium sized counties will be lost forever. This will include some of our most valuable native woodlands, wild places and some of the last refuges of our native flora and fauna. Ireland is the least forested country in Europe with only 8% of the landmass under forest and much of this is non-native species. Our remaining forests are of paramount importance to our limited and dwindling wild species of both plants and animals and they need your support.

Please follow the link and sign the petition.

Please also forward the link to friends, family and colleagues and share it on social network sites.

Many thanks.

Portally Cove at it's best

Some pix taken at Portally Cove last weekend.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wildlife and winter weather

Many people have contacted us with concerns about wildlife during the recent cold snap, to know how wild animals and birds are coping with the cold conditions and how they can help wildlife.
The reality is that there are and have been impacts on birds, resident and migratory and many of the impacts won't be fully realised until spring when numbers of young may be reduced. It is also true that all of our native wildlife is adapted to cold weather, such as thicker coats in winter time, e.g. deer or hibernation e.g. hedgehogs. However, wild animals, birds and insects need habitat / cover to hibernate/nest/forage in, so we humans can help by leaving as much habitat as possible, especially linking habitat such as hedgerows, rivers and streams. This means that there is plenty of cover for wildlife , and importantly, that wildlife can move about safely between feeding and breeding grounds. Without "linkages" such as hedgerows and linear woodlands, animals can be left isolated on "islands" without sufficient food.
These are the things we need to consider when building roads etc, which deplete the habitat available to other species

Another way in which we can help is by having wildlife-friendly gardens with logpiles, leafpiles, areas of longer grass and undisturbed corners for small mammals and insects to shelter/over-winter/nest in. Plenty of trees provide protection and shelter, and native trees in particular are a good source of food, e.g.holly, hawthorn.
Waterbirds such as duck, geese, swans and waders such as oystercatchers are affected by lack of access to open water.
Garden birds can be helped by giving water and food - provide seed and nut food, moist bread, mealworms, apples, cheese and fat from meat etc. Do not put out dry porridge or rice as it affects their digestion. A water-bath is essential for birds for drinking and bathing. Keep it frost free in the mornings. And remember, if you start to feed birds, keep it up - they will come to depend on your garden/food supply!

Frogs hibernating in ponds will suffocate unless water kept ice-free. A labour-saving way to do this is to leave an old football floating on the surface and simply remove it when ice forms.

Deer are apparently suffering adverse effects in Scotland as they come down from highlands and come into closer contact with humans / cars etc. In Scandinavia, they use railroads to travel along, so the potential for fatalities is high.

If you have any tips for caring for wildlife, we would love to see them posted on this blog, so get in touch

The picture above is from Birds and Bloom...a useful website on this and other issues.
Thanks to Marie for the words of wisdom!