Laois County Council has become the latest Council to sign up as a partner in the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. The Plan is a cross-sector initiative, led by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, with local authorities, farmers, businesses, schools and local communities, to support pollinators including our 98 bee species, one-third of which are threatened with extinction. Partner organisations are those that have committed to delivering some of the 186 actions in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025.
Welcoming the partnership, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council said “I am delighted to welcome the new partnership between Laois County Council and the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. We will work to support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan through our work with communities and local authority projects and I look forward to seeing the positive results of this partnership”
Chief Executive of Laois County Council John Mulholland said “We know that Ireland’s pollinating insects are under threat, with one-third of our 98 wild bee species at risk of extinction. Laois County Council will work to address this in partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, using their evidence-based actions to make public land more pollinator friendly. Actions range from reducing grass-cutting – to allow wildflowers to grow on public lands, to protecting nesting sites and reducing pesticide use. We know that the biodiversity crisis and climate change in Ireland are closely linked, and this new partnership ties in well with our current actions for Climate Change across Laois”.
Juanita Browne, All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Project Officer with the National Biodiversity Data Centre said “We’re delighted Laois County Council has signed up as a formal partner to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The Heritage Office at Laois County Council has been running pollinator projects for many years as well as being instrumental in establishing the Local Authority Tidy Towns Pollinator Award, encouraging both local authority staff and Tidy Towns groups to manage their public spaces in a pollinator-friendly way. Laois County Council has proven that many small actions can have big impacts for biodiversity, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years”.
Laois now joins a growing list of local authorities, non-Governmental organisations, semi State companies, academic institutions and businesses which have agreed to take action to help Ireland’s pollinators. Action for pollinators is already underway across many sections of Laois County Council. Listed below are just some of the recent initiatives being led by various sections in the Council including Roads, Environment, Heritage, Sports & Recreation and Community.
- Management for pollinators at graveyard sites through Conservation and Pollination Just Transition Project
- Pollinator awareness radio ads airings on Midlands 103
- New “In Your Nature” podcast ongoing in partnership with BirdWatch Ireland
- Gardening for Biodiversity book and colouring bookwith pollinator guidance
- Webinar on gardening for Pollinators with Juanita Browne
- Support for special Local Authority Heritage Officer Pollinator Prize for Tidy TownsCompetition
- Creation of Pollinator friendly habitat at Fitzmaurice Place
- Series of newspaper articles on gardening for biodiversity
- Commissioned music piece on pollinators, Thresholds by Ian Wilson, supported by Creative Ireland
- The 10,000 Tree project in conjunction with Portlaoise Tidy Towns , and Laois Offaly branch Irish Wildlife Trust, has seen planting of native trees and hedgerow plants along the Portlaoise Southern Circular route and at Clonminam link road
- Pollinator planting on other routes (planned)
- Pilot study on reduction in pesticide use in public areas (planned)
- Management for Pollinators Portlaoise Town Park and Peoples Park Portarlington
- Biodiversity enhancement of playgrounds at Coolrain, Stradbally, Mountrath (Amenity Area & Playground)
- Biodiversity enhancement of Portlaoise Leisure Centre campus (In Progress)
- Biodiversity Awareness Training for CE participants maintaining playgrounds & amenity areas
- Laois Federation of Tidy TownsWebinar on Pollinator Friendly Planting by Dr Fiona MacGowan, Botanist and Tidy Towns Adjudicator
- Pollinator Code Guidelines Booklet and ”Managed for Wildlife” All Ireland Pollinator Plan Signs sent to all Tidy Towns Groups
Local Authority Pollinator Award
The Local Authority Pollinator Award aims to encourage Tidy Towns groups to implement pollinator-friendly actions in their towns and villages as part of the Tidy Towns competition It supports the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is coordinated and sponsored by the Heritage Offices and Biodiversity Offices of Local Authorities across Ireland, in partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
If you would like to find out more about actions for pollinators in Laois or how to become a “pollinator-friendly community” please contact the Laois Heritage Office.