Community College Joined Up Thinking with Tidy Towns and Ecologist

Ecologist Brendan Kirwan with Castleisland Community College students: Ellie Lenihan, Chelsey Lane, Katie O’Connor and Ciara O’Sullivan. Back row: Gráinne Spillane, Konrad Kloskowski, Rachel Reynolds, Olga O’Sullivan, Micheál O’Shea and Michael Moynihan.

The Castleisland Community College Transition Year students applied for and received a grant from Community Foundation Ireland to work with ecologist Brendan Kirwan.

The purpose of the grant is to improve the biodiversity of the town.

Areas of Potential

They have surveyed the town and decided that the areas with the greatest potential were the river walk and the community college school grounds that overlook the river walk.

The students have already gone on a walk with Mary Walsh of Tidy Towns to learn about the biodiversity along the river walk.

Species Inventory

They will be undertaking a species inventory of the river walk and the school grounds with Brendan Kirwan.

This will include classifying the habitats in May including field boundaries, trees, walls and hedgerows.

Japanese Knotweed

They will be mapped and this will then lead to a suite of actions to enhance the biodiversity of the area.

The students are learning of the impact climate change is having to our local bee populations and the influence of invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed.