Sligo public urged to explore nature using Citizen Science Kit borrowed from local library

To celebrate National Biodiversity Week, The Heritage Council teamed with the OPW to provide a day of fun-filled, interactive biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle, Co. Leitrim with Heritage in Schools specialist, Michael Bell. Picture Shows Children from St. Patrick’s NS, Calry, Co Sligo. Photo Brian Farrell

Pictured at the launch of the Citizen Science Kit are: Aoife Walsh, Library Assistant, Martina Killian, Cloonacool Environmental Group, Cllr. Dónal Gilroy, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Michael Clarke, Niamh Doyle, Cloonacool Environmental Group, Dónal Tinney, County Librarian, Siobhán Ryan, Heritage Officer. Pic: Carl Brennan.

The Heritage Council teamed with the OPW to provide a day of fun-filled, interactive biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle, Co. Leitrim with Heritage in Schools specialist, Michael Bell. Picture shows children from St. Patrick’s NS, Calry, Co Sligo get up close and personal with a Woodlouse they came across and drew during their nteractive biodiversity workshops. Pic: Brian Farrell.

Children from St. Patrick’s NS, Calry, inspect a Small Square moth during their biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle with Heritage in Schools specialist, Michael Bell. Pic: B. Farrell.

Pupils from St Patrick’s NS, Calry who took part in biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle.

Picture shows Heritage in Schools specialist, Michael Bell, showing a Brimstone moth to children from St. Patrick’s NS, Calry during their biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle, Co. Leitrim. Pic: Brian Farrell

Picture shows Children from St. Patrick’s NS, Calry draw wild flowers during their interactive biodiversity workshops at Parke’s Castle, Co. Leitrim with Heritage in Schools specialist, Michael Bell.

Sligo Champion

Cathaoirleach Councillor Michael Clarke celebrated Biodiversity Week 2023 (May 19-28) with Sligo Libraries and the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council, by launching the Citizen Science Kit.

The pilot programme between Sligo Libraries and the Heritage Council makes ecology equipment freely available, empowering citizens to join the fight against biodiversity loss.

Through the programme, people can access specialised equipment in Sligo Central Library and gather valuable data using the kit which includes nets, magnifying glasses and swatches to help identity species.

Sligo Libraries are one of ten libraries in the pilot programme designed to aid communities who are eager to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity but may lack the tools to do so.

The kits will benefit community groups exploring biodiversity, amateur ecologists wishing to produce their own biodiversity action plans, students conducting studies, and groups such as Tidy Towns, River Trusts and Field Clubs who want to gather information to bolster local biodiversity projects.

Records gathered should be sent to Ireland’s National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC), whose role it is to collect and manage data and information about Ireland’s biodiversity.

Records submitted to NBDC at https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/ help researchers to monitor changes in biodiversity, identify areas of conservation concern, inform conservation strategies, and provide evidence for policy decisions.

Councillor Clarke spoke of the positive role public libraries play in providing an inclusive space for all citizens to access information and said the loan of a Citizen Science Kit from Sligo Libraries will allow communities to learn about the biodiversity in their own area.

Councillor Dónal Gilroy, Chairperson of Sligo Heritage Forum attended the launch with Dónal Tinney, County Librarian, Siobhán Ryan, Heritage Officer Sligo County Council, and Martina Killian and Niamh Doyle from Cloonacool Environmental Group.

The Citizen Science Kit can be borrowed by adult members of Sligo Libraries, exploring biodiversity with a group in their community, enquiries to sligolibrary@sligococo.ie

Some remaining events in Sligo for Biodiversity Week include:

Guided Woodland Walk at Longford Demesne – Saturday, May 27 @ 2.30pm to 5pm

Join Diarmuid McAree, a Director of Crann - Trees for Ireland, who will lead a walk at the wonderful Longford Demesne woodland in partnership with Yvonne and Declan Foley. Winner of the 2010 RDS Forest Service Bio Diverse Forestry Woodland Award. Highlighting Irish Biodiversity during National Biodiversity Week 2023. Please note that NO dogs are permitted on site in order to protect badger setts and undergrowth providing shelter for a variety of wildlife. Please wear appropriate footwear and weather appropriate clothing. Come join us and enjoy nature at its best! www.crann.ie. This event is free and all are welcome, with booking required via Eventbrite.

Workshop: An Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies: Sligo – Saturday, May 27

Join the National Biodiversity Data Centre, the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service for an introduction to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ireland. During this workshop we will look at the features used to identify Ireland’s Dragonfly and Damselfly species, where to find them, how to survey and identify them. In the afternoon we will explore local freshwater habitats to practice our field skills and spot some of the many species to be found in this area.

The workshop will be led by Michael Bell and will take place in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, The Ballinafad Centre, Gortalough, Ballinafad, Boyle, Co. Sligo. (Eircode: F52 K752) on Saturday, 27th May from 10:00am – 3:00pm (fieldwork included). The workshop audience is beginner to intermediate. Fee €20 (€10 for students). Workshop places are strictly limited and booking is via www.biodiversityireland.ie/workshops

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