Nature is Good for You!

National Campaign launched to get people connected with nature

 The Local Authority Heritage Officer Network has launched a campaign to get people connected with nature, as part of the Government’s “Keep Well” Campaign.

A free booklet “Gardening for Biodiversity” has been produced and is available from all Local Authority Heritage Officers.

Catherine Casey Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “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 this spring. Why not make a logpile, 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 and children’s colouring book and they are available for free from Laois County Council Heritage Office. Over the coming months the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network will co-ordinate and promote a series of practical actions for biodiversity that everyone can take part in.”

Gardening For Biodiversity Cover Gardening Book


Gardening for Biodiversity Colouring Book



In your Nature Podcast

As part of the Healthy Ireland “Keep Well” campaign, the Heritage Office of Laois County Council is running a series of events to people to get connected with nature. The campaign – called Nature is good for You – now sees the launch of a new nature podcast in partnership with BirdWatch Ireland.

“In your Nature” will be available each Monday from 1st March for six weeks and further series will follow in the summer and autumn. The podcast will be free and available on all leading podcast providers, including Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts.

“In your Nature” will be anchored by Laois native Ricky Whelan, Project Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, and the well-known media voice of Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland.

Advert for In your Nature Podcast

Spring into nature

Devised by Roscommon Heritage Office and the Heritage Officer Network, the “Spring into Nature” activity sheets in suggest ideas for people to enjoy their local heritage this spring, 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.

Radio Clips

A short series of “Nature is good for you” clips were prepared and broadcast by Midlands 103 radio from winter 2020 to spring 2021. 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.


Nestbox Guides

As wildlife lovers we are always keen to do what we can for the birds and other wildlife in our gardens, school grounds and on our farms. We can all help in various ways, perhaps by feeding birds in our gardens each winter or providing safe and suitable nest boxes for them to raise young.

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 informtion on the work of BirdWatch Ireland and how to join to support this work.

Garden Bird Nestbox Plans

This guide provides a template and measurements for you to create a range of nestboxes 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 Nestbox Plan

This guide provides a template and measurements for you to create a Barn Owl nestbox 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.


The Nature is Good for You” initiative is co-ordinated by the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network as part of the Government’s“Keep Well” Campaign which aims to help people to mind their physical and mental health and well being over the coming months.

Everyone is encouraged to take part in the campaign on social media using the hashtag #NatureisGoodforYou.

Healthy Ireland programme logos Heritage Officer Netwrok logo red    

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.