Take another look at our city ring road

The City Ring road  extends to some 7 Km from Castlecomer rd. to the callan rd. with extensive  attractive planting and  some 10 roundabouts all with individual plantingdesigns.

The attractive for the 6 spot Burnet moth Zygaena filipendulae Click here for short video of moth 

Castlecomer roundabout with sustainable planting, the adjacent road banks have many wild flowers.

Rare orchids are being protected and we are working to improve their habitat.

this flower is particularly attractive for the 6 spot Burnet moth Zygaena filipendulae

Hebron motorway access roundabout with sustainable perennial planting

New Orchard roundabout with colorful flowers and evergreen planting.

Ring road with edge only trimmed with further zone of  grassland and native species trees

Colorful wild flower edges to the road.

Community response arrests the spread of Invasive Species in Kilkenny

The spread of the Invasive species Himalayan Balsam has been the target of a community intervention along the River Nore in the Kilkenny City area and its tributary the River Breagagh. Himalayan Balsam is one of Ireland’s most invasive plant species and is considered to be a threat to wildlife ecology along rivers especially their riparian areas, and so is an issue that should be addressed under the Water Framework Directive.

Removing Himalayan balsam is not straightforward and requires a lot of man power, community and river stakeholder intervention. The Tidy Towns Committee, Keep Kilkenny Beautiful and its Biodiversity Committee first targeted Himalayan balsam which had become rampant on the River Bregagh, which is a tributary of the River Nore flowing through Kilkenny City in 2015 .

The River Breagagh is a tributary of the River Nore which rises to the south west of Kilkenny and meanders through the greater southern and western environs of the old city and flows under city walls and Abbeys where it joins the River Nore.

Community volunteers cleared the upper part of the affected areas in the months of June and July in 2015 and 2016 and concentrated on preventing any re-emergence in this area for the remainder of the year. Progress on the first year of the River Breagagh Himalayan balsam campaign would have been greater but for an outbreak of Giant hogweed on the River Nore to which a number of the Breagagh volunteers responded.

A response to combat the Giant hogweed’s threat to public health and the rivers ecology was directed by the local National Parks and Wildlife Officer, and included individuals from the Tidy Towns biodiversity group, the Local Sub Aqua Club, the Kilkenny Anglers and the Local Canoeing Club. The result of this intervention was that 70 or so Giant hogweed plants were treated and their seed heads removed preventing them from going to ground and germinating. The same Giant hogweed response team have been proactive again this year and it is hoped that one invasive species epidemic has been averted and is under control.

In May of  2016 the River Breagagh Himalayan balsam campaign resumed and the stakeholder groups that so successfully responded to the previous years outbreak of Giant hogweed spearheaded the completion of the removal of all stands of the invasive species from the River Breagagh tributary. The important participation of the rivers amenity stakeholders in this difficult access phase of treatment also released experienced volunteers to participate in the removal of Himalayan balsam downstream of the River Breagagh confluence.

The Tidy Towns, River Nore Himalayan balsam  removal campaign began in May 2006  on the popular Lacken and Canal walk areas of the river downstream of the River Breagagh and a strong community response has seen large areas of infestation being cleared and indigenous habitat being restored.

Earlier removal of invasive species on the River Breagagh has already resulted in a return of nesting ducks and foraging swans to the restored grass leavey island and riverbank habitat and a return of a pair of squawking water hens to what had previously become an impenetrable forest of Balsam. The intervention and participation of Tidy Towns cross community volunteers and river amenity stakeholders in biodiversity advocacy projects is heralding a new dawn in river conservation on the River Nore and its tributaries in Kilkenny.

In 2017 further extensive removals took place throughout the May – August  season 2017 and in addition extending the work area down river to south east of the Ossory bridge with maintenance of other areas which had been substantially cleared in previous years. The main aim was to remove the plant prior to seeding and to pick as early as possible while its biomass level was low  and damage/shadow  to adjoining plants was minimised. As in previous years all of the plants were collected by hand and where composted on site adjacent to the river in locations above the floodplain.This work as allowed all to have a greater appreciation of the amenity available along the river Nore/Breagagh  in the Kilkenny area.

Balsam removal on the river Breagagh near the junction with the river Nore

Team from Statestreet bank working to remove balsam during 2017 during Community action day

Balsam removal during 2017

 Keep Kilkenny Beautiful

Winter bedding and colour

The colder winter days brings new work for our many residents associations with the cleaning of planted areas. Beds where possible have  a variety of sustainable plants that give colour all year round.  These need to be weeded, the plants trimmed  back, or in many cases divided and replanted elsewhere.  Some winter colour is add with primroses and violas. The robin,  a gardeners friend in the winter  stands by,  ready to pick up any tasty morsels which remain after the work.

 

 

Fruit tree and fruit bush planting

As part of our long term sustainability  programme KKB, our many residents associations and  our Local Authority are leaving a legacy  of extensive fruit tree and fruit  bush planting each year  right around Kilkenny City. These  trees and bushes  will continue to give fruit, cover and colour  to our community for many years to come, Kilkenny City has a very suitable micro climate for fruit tree planting.  Kilkenny: The orchard of Ireland.

Blackcurrant and gooseberry plants having been  propagated by  Keep Kilkenny Beautiful from 2016 cuttings are prepared for planting to create a new fruit garden in 2017. The fruit is equally popular for   jam making as to be  eaten our birds during the summer.

Apple tree planting underway 2017  creating a new fruit garden , protection is being  provided to protect the base of the trees from strimming and bark mulch to keep growth down by the  trees.

There are already many fruit tree varieties in our city , this tree is located in the city centre near the Black abbey (pictured autumn 2016)

Great spotted woodpecker in Kilkenny City

Congratulations to Birdwatch Ireland,  there has been a confirmed  sighting of the Great spotted woodpecker to the western side of Kilkenny City. This is great news for our City.  Extensive work has been undertaken over many years to improve and extend tree cover and woodland  in Kilkenny. This is creating a habitat suitable for the wood pecker.

Extensive tree cover through Kilkenny City along River Nore

Extensive tree cover through Kilkenny City along River Nore

 

River Nore walk featured in Irish Times

The wonderful  River Nore walk between Kilkenny and Bennettsbridge was featured in the Irish Times. The trail stretches for 11 km and starts at Canal square under Kilkenny Castle. There is also a very attractive  loop and board walk  starting at Canal square. this extends   as far as the new pedestrian bridge at Ossory  Bridge  and back on the opposite river side.   This  loop which meanders through a wooded area  along the river Nore is  c.5km in length.   The City Loop was only completed in 2014 and it is already  very popular with visitors.

kilkenny castle

A start can be made  at Kilkenny castle. The walk is directly under the imposing castle.

Kilkenny 2

 

Under is a view of the  extensively wooded valley between Kilkenny castle and Ossory bridge which forms the  attractive walking loop close to the City.river nore from the Lacken Viewing point