What is Biodiversity ?
Biodiversity is short for Biological Diversity and is a word used to mean the variety of all living things on Earth. It includes everything from the smallest microbe to the largest whale, from a blade of grass or single flower to large areas of woodland. Biodiversity may be viewed at three separate levels: Habitats, Species and Genetic Diversity. It does not just include wildlife, it also includes domestic and farm animals and even our pets.
Why should we conserve it ?
Biodiversity provides us with a great variety of products and services. It gives us fuel, medicines, building materials and our beautiful countryside. It also helps to purify our air and water, and to stabilise our soil. We have a responsibility to look after all habitats and species for future generations.
Biodiversity is disappearing – why ?
The main cause of the loss of Biodiversity is human activity. Nationally, and to some extent in Co. Waterford (Source Co. Waterford local Biodiversity Plan) Hedgerows and the plants, animals, insects and the birds that use them are under threat due to removal as part of new development or agricultural improvement. Disturbances such as cutting during bird nesting season, damage caused by cutting with inappropriate machinery or cutting too short are some of the reasons for the loss. The extent of these issues is unquantified in Waterford. Our local Biodiversity is threatened by invasive species such as Rhododendron in woodland habitats, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. Along watercourses there is no comprehensive plan as yet in Co. Waterford for their control.
Awareness on Biodiversity
Raising awareness on Biodiversity and providing information is one of most important ways of safeguarding the future of the habitats and species we share the country with. I n the case of Lismore town a permanent heritage notice board at the entrance to the Strand an area adjacent to the Owenashad riverbank contains information on Biodiversity Another notice board which is regularly updated is also sited in this area.As you walk farther down the river bank there is another permanent notice board containing information on nature and wildlife at the start of the Owenashad riverside walk. The weekly ECO TIP OF THE WEEK in the Lismore Tidy Towns Notes in the local newspapers gives advice on the conservation and enhancement of Biodiversity every so often. The LISMORE TIDY TOWNS BIODIVERSITY TRAIL & leaflet launched in 2015 will help to provide further information and more interest in issues related to Biodiversity.
Nature in the Lismore area
Lismore is located on the Blackwater River which flows from the borders of Counties Cork and Kerry, through a limestone – floored valley eastwards through County Cork and into County Waterford where it passes through Lismore. In Cappoquin it turns abruptly southwards to enter the sea at Youghal. At some stage in its history, thousands of years ago, it seems to have entered the sea at Dungarvan Bay. – click here to read more
- When we decided, in 2008/09, to get involved with An Taisce Green Communities Projects, we set up a sub-commmittee of four members to investigate what projects we could possibly undertake.
- Our first plan of action was to identify several areas of biodiversity in the Lismore area and this was put together at our 1st meeting.
- We contacted Ms. Bernadette Guest, Heritage Office, Waterford County Council. We had one meeting with her and have regular contact with her since. At our meeting she advised us to contact Paul Green – Botanist, who spent a day with us on 8th March 2009. He went to the various habitats with us where he made notes and took photographs and later sent on his report to us. – click here to read more
- In 2012/2013 a survey of habitats in Lismore and its environs was carried out with the help and support of Mr. Andrew Harrington, MISE PROJECT Waterford City & Co . Counci land Ms. Bernadette Guest Waterford City &Co. Co.
- During August 2014 a biodiversity survey was carried out in the town to find out what a random sample of the general public knew about biodiversity . The results were published and made available to the general public
- Since 2013 a number of members have become involved with Bee monitoring in association with the National Biodiversity Centre and bat monitoring through the MISE project and Bat Watch Ireland
- The Winter of 2014/2015 saw the start of the Lismore Tidy Towns first local bird survey a which was also done in the Spring of 2015
- On May 14th 2015 Lismore Tidy Towns launched a LISMORE TIDY TOWNS BIODIVERSITY TRAIL accompanied by a leaflet containing a map of the trail, key information on the five areas in the town covered by the trail and general information on Biodiversity and tips for the general public to encourage the protection and enhancement of Biodiversity. The trail leaflet when launched was made available in the following businesses in Lismore: Credit Union, Rose’s West End Bar, McGrath’s Butchers, Rustic Cafe , Heritage Centre and Lismore Post Office. In 2016 the leaflet can be picked up at Lismore Post Office, Lismore Credit Union, St. Carthage’s Cathedral and at the entrance office to Lismore Castle Gardens.
- Towards the end of 2015 when the All Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 was launched and into 2016 Lismore Tidy Towns has promoted and created awareness of the plan through its weekly notes in three local newspaper. Since 2012 the group has planted up to five different areas in Lismore with perennial flowering plants with the aim of attracting pollinating insects.In 2016 Lismore Tidy Towns worked with Lismore Foroige Club, St. Carthage’s Cathedral and Waterford Co. Co. on the creation of a Communal herb garden using plants which attract pollinating insects . This project also promoted the Junior Pollinator Plan .