Play your part in Leitrim's BioBlitz
From butterflies to bees, and birds to bugs, the biodiversity of our hedgerows and gardens is so important for so many reasons.
The impact of the Covid pandemic means that we're all that bit closer to home for more of the time. And one of the unanticipated benefits is being able to watch at first hand garden birds building their nests and busy bees gathering pollen.
During Biodiversity Week (22nd to 31st May), we'd love you to help us identify how rich the biodiversity is in your part of Leitrim. Thanks to funding from the Heritage Council, Leitrim County Council's Heritage Office is calling on the whole community to get involved in the week long BioBlitz to discover as many species of plants, animals and fungi as possible in your garden and surrounding area.
This is an informal and fun way to create a snapshot of the variety of life around Leitrim and find out what species we live side by side with. All you need to do to play your part in this scientific survey managed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre is to log all your sightings at Ireland's Citizen Science Portal. By downloading the app, you can log as you go on your daily walk.
There are no strings attached - no registrations or sign-ups are needed - just a few details about when and where you've spotted something interesting or even commonplace, and it will add to the bigger biodiversity picture. Leitrim is currently the second lowest county for sightings so we need your help now to show how diverse our county is!
This is a great little project for children and adults to help get inspired by the land around us and raise awareness of how important biodiversity is for our habitat, our wildlife and our humans. And it might change your view of the hedgerow at the side of the road forever!
To get you even more involved, we've got a copy of the lovely book Gardening for Biodiversity by Juanita Browne produced by Local Authority Heritage Officers across Ireland, with help from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council. To get your free hard copy, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how many species you've recorded on the portal along with your address.
Recording the names and locations of species as part of the BioBlitz will generate biological records for the National Biodiversity Data Centre. These records can be used to help scientific research and government policy, as well as informing conservation practice, local planning and land management at a variety of scales.
Some helpful websites to identify wildlife:
Butterflies of Ireland
Bumblebees of Ireland
Shieldbugs of Ireland
Birds of Ireland
Wildflowers of Ireland
Trees of Ireland
'Connecting Through Heritage' is a Leitrim County Council Heritage Project which is funded by the Heritage Council.