Ten projects in Galway City and County meant to encourage local biodiversity among plants and animals have been awarded government funding.
The city and county councils will received €90,682 for the projects under the National Biodiversity Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme.
The largest grant in Galway is for dealing with the invasive species Gunnera in Clifden, Maum, and Currywongaun, and Giant Knotweed in Clobur.
Galway County Council has been awarded €16,209 to create management plans and control costing for dealing with the invasive plants in these areas.
Just below that is €16,000 allocated to Galway City Council for eradicating invasive plant species such as Japanese Knotweed at 19 locations in the city.
Other projects will include pollinator education for council staff and schools across the county, developing conservation strategies for Barn Owls and Yellowhammers, and surveying the forests at Barna South and Terryland Forest Park.
Galway Senator Aisling Dolan said that these projects are about building awareness of “the small and larger things” that can be done to nature and wildlife biodiversity.
“Funding for the Biodiversity and Pollinator Awareness and Knowledge Programme 2021 will mean training is available for communities and schools across County Galway. We already see how our students are leading the way in climate action and driving a change in behaviours.”
Senator Dolan said that Galway is “biodiversity rich” in its boglands and unique landscapes, which have great potential for ecotourism development.
In total, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has allocated €1.35 million this year for the scheme, which is operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Over 100 projects promoting biodiversity and combating invasive species in every local authority area in the country has received funding under this year’s scheme, which is almost twice the level allocated last year.
Minister of State for Local Government, Peter Burke said “The success of the Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme is testament to the close working relationship between the Department, its NPWS and the Local Authorities, particularly the Biodiversity Officers, Heritage Officers and administrative staff without whom these schemes would not exist.
“It is particularly pleasing to see this year’s scheme fund so many projects aimed at reversing biodiversity loss in our cities and towns, in line with this Government’s commitment to put Town Centres First.”
|Galway County||Management Plan for Gunnera throughout the Clifden area. Management of Gunnera on the Maum to Maum Cross road and Giant knotweed in Clonbur. Development of a Management Plan and associated control costing for a Gunnera infestation in a disused quarry in Currywongaun, Co. Galway.||€16,209.00|
|Galway County||Baseline research project on wetlands to assess the extent and condition of these habitats in North-east Galway, for the purposes of informing future research and potential amenity development.||€12,750.00|
|Galway County||Biodiversity and Pollinator Awareness and Knowledge Programme 2021 to undertake biodiversity and pollinator training for local authority staff and the communities and schools of County Galway.||€9,220.00|
|Galway County||Barn Owl monitoring and conservation. Project will on: 1) implementing a citizen science and strategic survey to assess the status and breeding performance of Barn Owls and to identify their conservation requirements, 2) producing three high-quality videos to provide practical guidance on; nest boxes, managing and creating habitat, and rodenticide use, and 3) using Barn Owl as an indicator species through the first known study of Barn Owl pellets for archaeological research to learn about human mobility and ancient diets through isotopic research.||€7,453.00|
|Galway County||Survey to establish the size and extent of the yellowhammer breeding population and to determine their habitat associations and feeding patterns. This information will be prepared as a short paper and will be important to inform the conservation and management of this declining species and in the context of developing targeted agri-environment measures for biodiversity enhancement and species protection.||€2,550.00|
|Galway City Co||Treat 19 identified instances of IAS within the city boundary. The intention is to manage, control and eradicate the IAS from these 19 sites while simultaneously adding new sites to the management plan as they are identified. The project will also raise awareness among community groups, businesses and individuals as to the identification, obligations and legal responsibilities should a sighting occur.||€16,000.00|
|Galway City Co||Update and publish a Biodiversity Report for the Barna South Woods,. Design site based and web-friendly maps with interpretative material explaining the reasons for the implementation of a management plan. Formally establish the Friends of Barna Woods & Lough Rusheen Bay Volunteers, including Leadership and Safety Training.||€10,000.00|
|Galway City Co||The Healthy Green Spaces Project is about improving the quality of Galway city’s green spaces to be welcoming and inviting for people, to deliver on the need to reverse biodiversity loss, support pollinators, make positive impacts against or to cope with climate change, reduce waste and the reliance on carbon based fuels.||€7,500.00|
|Galway City Co||Hedgerow Survey at Terryland Forest Park as part of a base line data collection on the quantity and quality of hedgerows currently in existence across the city.||€5,000.00|
|Galway City Co||Tree Survey at Terryland Forest Park as part of a base line data collection on the quantity and quality of trees currently in existence across the city. This survey is the first step in a series of surveys of trees across the City of Galway.||€4,000.00|