Monday, 9 October 2017

3rd October - Ireland's Groundwater

This month the Dublin Branch of IWT heard Alex Russell (PhD researcher at UCD) give a talk to about groundwater in Ireland. Alex gave a general overview of the quality of groundwater in Ireland (natural water chemistry and geology). In Ireland, up to 25% of drinking water supplies are sourced from groundwater, with a particular importance in rural areas where public supplies are often unavailable. However, in Ireland private wells remain unregulated for quality testing, potentially leading to significant unknown exposures to contaminated waters, including arsenic, which occurs naturally in may parts of Ireland.

Globally groundwater is a finite and precious resource, which is being used up at a far greater rate than it is being replenished. This is yet another unsustainable use of the planet's resources whih will lead to severe water shortages worldwide in the future.

Monday, 28 August 2017

August 26th - rockpooling in Portmarnock

On Saturday August 26th Dublin Branch member Kevin Delahunty led a rockpooling expedition along the coast at Portmarnock, north Co. Dublin to see what kind of creatures could be found. Lots of starfish, shellfish and 'pinkeens' were discovered, and another generation of kids got hooked on the wonders of nature!

Photos courtesy of Brendan

August 19th Walk in Carrickgolloghan Woods

On Saturday 19th August Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir led a walk in Carrickgolloghan Woods near Kiltiernan in the Dublin mountains. Along the way we saw trees like birch, rowan and scots pine, and wildflowers like yarrow and St. Johns wort. The walk included a visit to the chimney of the old lead mine that used to be in the area, and a trip to the viewing point where a spectacular view of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains can be had, and also a great view north to Killiney Hill. The walk finished up just before the rain came down, so all in all a success.

Photos courtesy of Brendan

Monday, 14 August 2017

15th July - Bull Island Wildflower Walk

On Saturday 15th July Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir led a walk to see the amazing wildflowers on the Bull Island. There was a good turnout and the weather was perfect for a walk - nice and warm, but not too sunny. As usual lots of flowers were seen, including four kinds of orchid - common spotted orchid, pyramidal orchid, marsh helleborine ,and twayblade. Among the other flowers spotted were restharrow, ladies bedstraw, tufted vetch, bird's foot trefoil, hare's foot trefoil, yellow rattle and eyebright. So all and all a good day!

Photos courtesy of Brendan

Ladies Bedstraw

Common Spotted Orchid

Marsh Helleborine

Twayblade has an unusual green coloured flower


Monday, 24 July 2017

4th July Green Drinks - Gardening for Wildlife

This month Dublin Green Drinks heard Ricky Whelan of the IWT Laois Offaly Branch give a talk on Gardening With Wildlife In Mind - in other words how to develop any space to be more friendly and inviting to wildlife and wild plants. This could involve habitat creation like having a pond in your garden, or a wild space for the nettles, or it could involve planting pollinator friendly plants, native species.

Ricky gave a very informative talk, full of amusing anecdotes, and stressed how easy it was for even the person with the least knowledge of gardening or tiniest space to contribute to wildlife. Even a window box can be a help! Hopefully  those attending were inspired to go home with a fresh enthusiasm for gardening with wildlife in mind!

Ricky Whelan also works as a Project Officer for BirdWatch Ireland and is heavily involved in the Abbeyleix Bog project in south Laois. 

Ricky showing us a bat box

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

2nd May Green Drinks - Raised Bog Conservation

On Tuesday 2nd May 2017 Green Drinks Dublin heard Dr Maurice Eakin, Senior Wetland Ecologist from the NPWS, talk about the ongoing efforts to maintain and restore raised bogs in Ireland. Finding a compromise between the obligations of the Habitats Directive and the rights of domestic turf-cutters was always going to be difficult, but considerable progress has been made in recent years.

Maurice is also working with Bord na Mona who are engaged in a programme of restoring some of their cutaway bogs to their previous state. This involves first and foremost blocking the drains and allowing the bogland to rewet itself, and then primarily allowing nature to take its course. Further details can be found on Bord na Mona's website:

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

10th and 18th June Ireland's Eye trips

Dublin Branch went on its annual trips to Ireland's Eye this month on the 10 and 18th June. As usual there was great interest in the trips and a good turnout. The weather was good for us and a lot of wild birds were seen including guillemots, cormorants, gannets and great black backed gulls. The views of Howth and the island were also amazing! Thanks to Brendan for the photos.
At Ireland's Eye's Martello Tower


Great Black Backed Gulls - adults and chicks