Kilkenny Co Co adopts the black and amber bumble bee

 

A fitting  county emblem which will also raise the  importance of bees as pollinators. KKB works each year to improve the range of honey and bumble  bee friendly planting throughout our city.

Crab apple blossom attracts!

Summer wild flowers

Sunflower attraction!

Bumble bees enjoy the summer lavender

 

Balsam removal in Kilkenny City and environs

An extensive balsam removal  scheme in the Kilkenny area river Nore and Breagagh  on a phased basis has completed its 4th year. The aim is to remove plants before flowering and prevent seed being produced for the following year.

The banks all through our City have been restored to attractive riverside woodland. Balsam is an invasive weed which  can push out  the native species of plant leading to damage of river banks in the winter. While removing Balsam on  the river bank it has been possible to see much of the river wildlife. 

 

 

River Nore clean up

Wednesday 8th August 7pm at Canal Walk slip will see Kilkenny Sub Aqua Club (KSAC); Keep Kilkenny Beautiful (KKB) & Kilkenny County Council (KCC) coming together to sweep the city section of the River Nore to clear it of as much waste items as possible. Volunteers from the three organisations are working together to make the best impact as possible. This partnership has worked well over many years and efforts will go toward KKB’s Kilkenny’s submission to the National Tidy Towns Competition 2018.

The current water levels are historically low and this may assist with material that is lodged in areas hard to reach in “normal” years flow, said Lorcan Scott PRO with KSAC. The River Nore is a Special Area of Conservation and the clean-up should enhance conditions for fish and mammals species moving along the river.

Kilkenny city is blessed to have such a recreational and visual asset and as with all urban waterways the Nore can receive waste from a range of sources from excitable party goers to the inconsiderate members of the public.

River Nore

This exercise will also have the added benefit of removing any potential hazard to divers required in any Search and Recovery activity in the Nore city section.

KSAC and KKB wish to thank Kilkenny County Council for their offer to take any resultant waste for appropriate disposal.

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

Fruit blossoms in Kilkenny City

Throughout Kilkenny our   many pear and apple community orchards are flowering  in colourful whites and pinks.   The wild cherry has already flowered. We look forward to the fruit later in the year.  Additional orchard and fruit tree planting  continues each year at new locations and existing trees are pruned.  Attractive orchards can be seen  at various locations and estates through out our City.  Examples can be seen  at  Kilkenny castle Park, Waterford Rd. and  Bennettsbridge rd. Along the main ring road there is a variety of fruit trees planted interspersed  among the overall planting.

Tree planting completed at Lacken walk

Congratulations to all who attended the tree planting  near the board walk at Lacken, walk. many hundreds of trees have been planted  including many native Irish species. the weather was damp but this made for good planting conditions with the ground soft and receptive to bare root tree slips. In particular  we thank Dan of Tree Services Ireland  who coordinated the event and whose  aim is to plant two trees for every one tree  removed!

Tea and coffee station!

Planting on a slope,

Happy dog day!