International Biodiversity Day is 22nd May each year. In 2022, Ireland’s Biodiversity Week takes place 13th to 22nd May.
Biodiversity Week events for Laois in 2022 are here.
Nature Activities for Children and Families
Reconnect with Nature
Barbara Sullivan of Reconnect with Nature and the Irish Wildlife Trust has created 6 special wildlife activity sheets, which are available to download by clicking on the pictures below. Just download your sheet and head outside to take part in the activity, in your garden, local park or your favourite local wildlife patch. Please share your creations with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
These activities were created with the support of Creative Ireland Laois and the Creative Ireland Programme as part of Cruinniu na nÓg 2021
For the Birds
Are you for the birds? We are!! Spotting the birds of summer as they arrive is great fun but how are you at identifying birds from their songs? It’s a real bonus if you’re in a habitat where you don’t often get a good glimpse of the birds – like a lovely woodland. And you’d be surprised at how easy it is, once you get your ear in. Try it for yourself with our specially commissioned birdsong video with Ricky Whelan of BirdWatch Ireland .
Gardening for Biodiversity
Spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health. There are plenty of simple things that you can do to help nature in your garden or your locality. Why not make a log pile, or leave a heap of leaves for hedgehogs and insects; feed the birds; or plant bee friendly trees. To find out more about what you can do, we have reprinted the Gardening for Biodiversity booklet in English and Irish, and children’s colouring book and they are available for free from Laois County Council Heritage Office, download below.
In your Nature Podcast
The In Your Nature Podcast brings you conversations about birds, wildlife and wild places. The podcast is presented by Ricky Whelan and Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland with regular expert guests. BirdWatch Ireland is Ireland’s largest conservation NGO.
“In your Nature” is free and available on all leading podcast providers, including Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts. All episodes of the podcast to date can be found at Buzzsprout and all good podcast providers. In Your Nature is produced in partnership with the Heritage Offices of Laois and Offaly County Councils, supported by the Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and is edited by Ann-Marie Kelly.
Spring into nature
Devised by Roscommon Heritage Office and the Heritage Officer Network, the “Spring into Heritage” activity sheets in suggest ideas for people to enjoy their local heritage in spring and summer, with a focus on getting outdoors and experiencing nature and built heritage in your locality.
The sheets can be downloaded here in English and Irish or click the pictures below.
Nature Tips – Radio Clips
A short series of “Nature is good for you” clips were prepared and broadcast by Midlands 103 radio in 2021 and 2022. These highlight the value of getting out in nature, and suggest simple things people can do to help nature in their own area. The clips are available on Soundcloud or by clicking below.
Nest box Guides
Below you will find three downloadable guides produced by BirdWatch Ireland in association with the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network that provide nest box templates and measurements for some of our favourite garden birds as well as for the amazing Barn Owl and roosting bats. Each guide features installation tips to help you correctly position each box to provide safe nesting opportunities for target species and increase the chances of uptake. We were delighted to work with BirdWatch Ireland in the production of these guides. See here for more information on the work of BirdWatch Ireland and how to join to support this work.
Garden Bird Nest box Plans
This guide provides a template and measurements for you to create a range of nest boxes for a number of common garden bird species including, Robins, Blue/Great Tits, Starlings and Spotted Flycatcher. Click the picture to download a high resolution pdf.
Outdoor Barn Owl Nest box Plan
This guide provides a template and measurements for you to create a Barn Owl nest box suitable for installation outdoors. Click the picture to download a high resolution pdf.
Bat Roost Box Plan
This guide provides a template and measurements for you to create a bat roost box to safely accommodate roosting bats in your garden. Click the picture to download a high resolution pdf.
Wild Things at School
The Wild Things at School books and worksheets in English and Irish were created to help teachers and families introduce children to the wonders of nature, learning a little bit each year of school. The books were written by Author Éanna Ní Lamhna with Illustrator Christine Warner, and were a partnership of Laois, Monaghan and Meath County Councils, supported by the Heritage Council. Download by clicking the pictures below.
The Nature is Good for You” initiative is co-ordinated by the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network – Everyone is encouraged to take part in the campaign on social media using the hashtag #NatureisGoodforYou.
Supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in association with the Keeping Well Campaign in your county. Local Authority Heritage Officers are employed by Local Authorities in partnership with the national Heritage Council. Their role is to raise awareness, provide advice, develop/implement policy, collect data, conduct research and promote best practice to value and safeguard heritage for future generations.