Kildare's Wildlife Watch: Pledge your garden for pollinators

With the Irish Peatland Conservation Centre

Kildare's Wildlife Watch: Pledge your garden for pollinators

Bog bean. Picture: Nuala Madigan

Last week was National Biodiversity Week. Biodiversity means the variety of life in our communities. It ranges from the small earthworm in your garden soil to the largest oak tree in your locality.

The United Nations declared 2010 to 2020 the International Decade for Biodiversity. Much work was carried out over the past 10 years to assess the status of Ireland’s biodiversity and habitats.

The research highlighted how Ireland’s biodiversity was under threat and in response in 2019 the Irish government declared a climate and biodiversity emergency.

We can all do our bit to help Ireland’s biodiversity and our help can start in our own gardens.

Pollinators including bees and butterflies need nectar, so by choosing to plant native pollinator friendly plants in our gardens we can provide a valuable source of food for these species to survive.

This National Biodiversity Week, ‘pledge your garden for pollinators’ through the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

You can learn more by visiting pollinators.ie/gardens online.

You can also help a habitat in your garden this year by choosing to go peat free.

Peatlands have seen a devastating loss in habitat over the past 70 years. Today research has shown that less than 1% of Ireland’s original 1.47 million hectares is actively growing.

By choosing peat free, you will be helping to conserve a representative sample of peatland habitat for the bog bean, the iconic bog cotton and insect eating sundews.

Provide a source of water in your garden for your local wildlife. Just as it is for us, water is vital for all life, so putting a bird bath in your garden will help bees and garden birds during dry summer days.

This week, bog bean has flowered on our peatlands and I encourage you to celebrate National Biodiversity Week by visiting a local habitat in your area.

Choose a walk along your local waterway, a visit to the woods or maybe a walk through the grassland habitat of the Curragh.

If you would like help identifying local wildlife or indeed to share your images of local wildlife encountered to be used in a future Wildlife Watch contact me on 045 860133 or bogs@ipcc.ie.

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