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18 Aug 2022

Kildare's Wildlife Watch: Monasterevin wildflower project in full bloom

With the Irish Peatland Conservation Council

Kildare's Wildlife Watch: Monasterevin wildflower project in full bloom

A selection of wildflowers along the Barrow. Picture: Nuala Madigan

This summer I am working with Monasterevin Tidy Towns as together we work to identify the variety of wildflowers growing along the banks of the River Barrow in their community.

This project was made possible with support from the Local Authorities Water Programme, Water Community Development Fund 2022.

While I have written for a number of years on the variety of wildflowers that can be found in our communities, I don’t know if I have ever shared why they are important.

Focusing on their importance along the banks of a river, one of their values include preventing erosion along the bank edges as their roots stabilise the soil.

Their roots also absorb nutrients helping to keep our water clean and they help prevent flooding during times of heavy rainfall.

Allowed to grow and bloom, they are important corridors for wildlife to move between habitats in our communities and indeed offer shelter for nesting waterfowl or spawning frogs.

They are an important source of nectar for our pollinators and many invertebrates take shelter and a source of food from them. This, in turn, supports the birds and mammals as these invertebrates become a source of food for larger birds and animals.

I started the survey along the banks of the River Barrow in Monasterevin earlier this month and to date I have completed a distance of 1.4km along the bank edges. Over 30 wildflowers have been recorded to date and I am sure to find many more as it is still early in the season.

Over the next month, if you are in Monasterevin and see me with a clipboard and pen walking along the banks of the Barrow, you know what I will be doing and please stop to say hello. I will be happy to share with you what wildflowers I will have observed that day.

You can also become a citizen scientists this summer by submitting your biodiversity records to https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/start-recording.

Don’t forget, if you come across a wildlife species that you would like help identifying, I would be happy to help.

Contact me at bogs@ipcc.ie.

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