Return to the Wild for Biodiversity Week

Galway Faily Return to the Wild for Biodiversity Week

Friends of Merlin Woods are back with a full line up for biodiversity week, working with wildlife experts to bring you a host of exciting events. 

Last year they had to bring their events online hosting live feeds  from Merlin Woods and hosting biodiversity talks due to COVID restrictions. They are delighted this year to be able to bring groups out once again, in line with  COVID guidelines. 

Eight days of events are planned to mark Biodiversity Week starting from this Satuday, but numbers will be restricted for public events so booking is essential. 

Wildflowers of Merlin with Ciaran Bruton: Saturday, May 15 11-1pm

Explore the vast array of late Spring /early Summer flowers and learn how to identify them. 

Ciaran, a botanist has a vast knowledge of Merlin’s Plant life  from work he has carried out over many years identifying the species, leading walks here and is also part of the BSBI Galway Branch. 

Creating with Nature with Debbie Reilly: Sunday, May 16 11-1pm

Artist Debbie Reilly works with people to use natural materials to create art responsibly utilising the leave no trace principle. Debbie has worked with Friends of Merlin Woods on numerous projects in the woodlands part of conservation , art, and drama projects , recently working on Galway 2020 projects in the woodlands which this event is a legacy project. 

Dusk Chorus with Padraic Kearns: Monday, May 17 7pm-8.30pm

Take a walk around the habitats of the woodland and learn to identify the sounds of the birds or perhaps catch a glimpse of the many species who reside in the woodland. Padraic is an expert  on many aspects of wildlife and an avid birder for many years. 

Exploring Mammals with Ruth Hanniffy, Vincent Wildlife Trust: Tuesday, May 18  7pm -8.30pm

Learn about the tracks, trails and signs of our woodland mammals and explore the type of habitats that are vital for their survival here in the woodlands. Ruth created a beautiful video on Merlin Wood’s mammals last year with Friends of Merlin Woods which received a National Heritage Award and is also part of the GO Wild events that have taking place across the city in previous years as well as her work with Vincent Wildlife Trust. 

Nature Walk – Briarhill School: Thursday, May 20 & Merlin Primary School: Friday, May 21

Friends of Merlin Woods will lead a class from each school on a journey around the woodlands identifying different species and habitats along the way. These two events are not open to the public. 

Galway Butterfly Project with Colin Stanley: Saturday, May 22 12-2pm 

Colin has been studying the butterflies of Merlin Woods and the wider county over the last few years giving talks and workshops. The public will be shown how to identify the species which are out now and what plants and habitats they are associated with and what is needed for their survival. 

Wildlife Photography with Noel Barbour: Sunday, May 23 2pm-4pm 

Noel is an expert in wildlife photography and invites the public to attend this workshop to learn how to capture beautiful photographs , offering tips, techniques and methods used for the best results in  wildlife photography. A great event for anyone who wants to get better results from their cameras when photographing wildlife . 

We would like to thank all the experts for giving their time freely to ensure biodiversity week happens. With their help in educating and informing  people on the importance of our wildlife habitats and diverse species we have in our woodland, we can all work towards protecting these habitats for future generations. 

All events leave from Merlin Woods community garden just past playground in Doughiska  at stated time.

All events must be booked through Eventbrite. For more info on the week please check out or email for more info. 

Suitable clothing and footwear must be worn for events. Events may be cancelled due to adverse weather warnings or change in covid guidelines.