Corncrakes and bats to benefit from biodiversity grants

A corncrake: €376,000 is being provided to local groups for green projects which include plans to improve biodiversity along the Moy estuary and river in Co Mayo and revamp a nature reserve on the river Nore in the southeast.

Funding to protect the endangered corncrake on the Aran Islands and to build shelters for bats to nest in Cabra in Dublin are among 78 community grants to improve biodiversity announced on Monday.

Some €376,000 in funding is being provided to local groups to push green projects, which include plans to improve biodiversity along the Moy estuary and river in Co Mayo and revamp a nature reserve on the river Nore in the southeast.

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Grants include €4,500 given to a group in Cabra, in north Dublin, to build shelters and nests for bats, birds, bees and butterflies; and €6,000 to tackle the invasive Japanese knotweed plant in Dromahair, Co Leitrim. Another group was given €6,000 to create “pocket forests” in Crumlin, south Dublin, and the same amount was provided to a group to build a nest wall for sand martins in Portlaoise.

Revised national biodiversity plan backed by new powers to protect and restore declining nature across Ireland ]

The funding is being provided by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the philanthropic organisation Community Foundation Ireland. In a statement, Minister of State for nature Malcolm Noonan said the local biodiversity grants were “uniquely impactful” to community groups.

“It’s vital that we empower communities to restore nature at grassroots level, especially as the National Biodiversity Action Plan takes root. Over the coming years, local authorities will also be developing local biodiversity action plans,” he said. “Active, informed and engaged communities will help us ensure that policymaking for biodiversity is a two-way street: top down and bottom up.”

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Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times