National Biodiversity Week takes place from May 13th to 22nd with a busy programme of activities and events across County Wicklow.
These events will be focussed on connecting people and nature, communicating the importance of biodiversity and motivating people to play their part in protecting it.
This year sees a welcome return to in-person events and the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council is pleased promote a varied and family friendly programme with activities to suit most interests: from bees and barn owls, to swifts, wetlands, and coastal dunes.
Events are taking place from dawn to dusk, weekdays and weekends, as follows:
Fri 13th: Dusk Chorus Bird Walk @ Newcastle 8pm
Experience one of nature’s greatest performances. Join the Birdwatch Ireland Wicklow Branch for an evening Dusk Chorus Walk at East Coast Nature Reserve (ECNR). May is the height of the bird-breeding season when birds are most active pairing up and defending territories. We will be listening to and observing the array of bird species present on the reserve. Meet at main Sea Road entrance to ECNR at 8 pm
Sat 14th: Irish Bees for Beginners @ Blessington Library 3 pm
An introduction to 100 species of bee in Ireland with local west Wicklow enthusiast Brian Murray. All welcome.
Tues 17th : Barn Owls in Wicklow – Talk in Arklow Library 7pm
A talk by John Lusby, Birdwatch Ireland on the ecology of barn owls in Ireland. Hear more about the Wicklow Barn Owl project and how you can get involved to help these iconic birds. Venue: Arklow Library, Main St Arklow, 7- 8 pm. In- person event. No booking needed.
Thurs 19th: Swift Walk – Rathdrum 7 pm
Oran O’Sullivan leads this outing to observe swifts in flight, find out more about the fascinating life cycle of this summer migrant, and learn how you can help by creating and maintaining suitable habitats and submitting sightings. Meet outside Rathdrum Library building for a gentle looped walk around the town. No booking needed.
Sat 21st: Love Your Wetlands – an Tairseach, Wicklow Town 10.30am-1 pm
Join the An Taisce EU-LIFE Team to discover how freshwater ponds act as reservoirs for local biodiversity. Event includes a brief talk followed by a visit to the wildlife pond on the organic farm. Great opportunities to see the diversity of wildlife that the pond supports while learning how to use aquatic wildlife to classify your own pond. Register to attend at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/love-your-wetlands-tickets-329839668327
Sun 22nd: Dawn at the Dunes – Brittas Bay 5 am
Arise with the birds on this early morning walk to welcome the sunrise at Brittas Bay, immerse in bird song, visit coastal habitats and learn more about conservation efforts underway as part of the Brittas Bay Conservation Project, supported by NPWS and Wicklow County Council. Led by Alan Lauder ecologist. Meet @ 5 am in South Beach Car Park for a gentle walk and talk, duration c. 1.5 hours.
As well as events, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) hosts the 10th annual Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition running throughout May; the Backyard Bioblitz and the Biodiversity Scavenger hunt as well as links to a host of online resources.