we set out under KKB Submission to the 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan:-
4th National Biodiversity Action Plan
Response to Draft for Public Consultation. Thank you for the opportunity to consult on the above matter. We would be grateful if the following points could be considered for future drafts.
Whole of government and whole of society approach
· Effective communication and buy-in are critical to delivering the national biodiversity strategy. Increasingly, sectors like agriculture, industry and conservation are becoming more siloed and oppositional as policy and financial pressures increase and mutual understanding decreases. In order to deliver a truly ‘whole of government and whole of society approach’ all sectors of government, business and society need to be included in the delivery of the biodiversity strategy. Effective solutions to biodiversity issues can often emerge from within a community, sector or industry when engagement is meaningful and non-confrontational.
· There is potential to introduce pilot projects that bring different communities and sectors together to deliver tangible on-the-ground solutions to specific issues in areas such as agriculture, energy and community development in a collaborative way. These pilot projects could be used to promote, not just the solution, but the collaborative process that delivered change and models conflict resolution strategies.
Biodiversity Net Gain
· The Plan should set out objectives that enable each sector to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain on new plans and projects. Mandatory BNG has recently been introduced in England and Wales and adopted voluntarily in other areas and sectors. Good quality baseline information is critical to delivering and monitoring BNG along with adequate resources within the consenting authority to review applications and long-term delivery.
· Planning and Development requiring planning permission should be linked to the achievement of good ecological status in associated water courses prior to planning approval and after completion of projects
· Community empowerment is one of the most effective means of delivering change and is necessary for societal buy-in. Bottom-up initiatives like the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan have proven successful in harnessing community energy by undertaking clear evidence-based, targeted actions on a very specific topic. Similar initiatives could be developed through organisations on the ground once they are adequately resourced to develop targeted strategies. This can can help avoid stagnation in the delivery of top-down policy.
Education and research
· It is estimated that there is as much biodiversity below ground as above ground, but soil ecology and biodiversity is often completely overlooked, outside agricultural fertility parameters. Healthy soils are critical to food production, carbon sequestration, medical treatments and a range of other services that are beginning to be recognised. This is a growing area of research in light of both the biodiversity and climate crises and would benefit from acknowledgement and support within the NBAP.
· Further emphases should be given to delivering sustainable education programmes at Junior, TY and Senior cycles to introduce ecological literacy and ensure that children and young adults have a good understanding of biodiversity issues and actions needed to protect it. Increasingly, more of us are living in urban settings and have lost connections to nature and our basic understanding of food production and other ecosystem services. There is potential to develop projects that link schools with the farming community or other individuals and groups that work with nature. While many programmes, such as Green Schools, have achieved excellent results, there is still significant potential to bring nature and sustainability into schools and the curriculum as a whole.
Resourcing and waste management
· Food production and food waste are critical issue for biodiversity both globally and nationally. Globally we waste one-third of all food produced annually. This equates to approximately 16% of habitable land on the planet. In Ireland, we waste approximately 1 million tonnes of food per annum. By changing this one issue, we could divert the wasted land resources to biodiversity use and reduce GHG emissions from production and decomposition. The Plan clearly acknowledges the devastation impacts climate change will have on biodiversity and the irreversible effects on ecosystems. Targeted programmes to engage communities on the ground to tackle specific issues around food production and waste could be considered for support within the Plan.
· An engaged society, targeted actions and adequate resources are needed to deliver an effective strategy. Funding along with people’s time and energy are all limited resources and should be spent wisely. Ineffective and wasteful spending should be identified within Departments and programmes and re-routed to bodies and programmes that can deliver. Examples of this occur in agricultural schemes where participants are financially incentivised to take actions that have no demonstrated benefits, or in some instances, they have negative effects on biodiversity. These schemes are sometimes developed without the appropriate input from relevant experts and groups that could guide a meaningful programme. In other instances, it can occur where new actions or programmes are trialled but proved ineffective, but continue to be implemented by Departments.
· Globally and nationally, we have failed to deliver on successive plans and actions to protect biodiversity. Our food, energy and consumption models are broken and need transformative change. Learning is an iterative process and mistakes are part of that process. It’s important that we build in effective review processes, learning from previous successes and failures and change course as required.
Congratulations to all our volunteers, community groups, businesses and Kilkenny county council on the receipt of a fantastic result for Kilkenny city in the 2023 national tidy towns competition .
Kilkenny is the 2023 recipient of the County award, a gold medal and the South East regional award.
To see the detailed adjudicators report 2023 with link on separate page to tidy towns site press link Kilkenny City report 2023
Kilkenny received 274 point a rise of 12 points on our 2022 results. Congratulations to Ballincollig who pipped Kilkenny by one point to win the national tidiest large urban centre 2023 and to Abbeyleix the 2023 overall winner 2023,
A great cheer from some of our 20k pollinator planting challenge & environs saturday clean up work groups!
Celebration of National Biodiversity week in Kilkenny
The 24 hour Bioblitz aims to bring budding environmentalists together and led by experts and specialists groups to identify and record as many species as possible within the diverse habitats of Kilkenny’s Castle park and the Canal..
There will be a small stream citizen science species identification work shop on Friday afternoon on the canal at the whitewashed well . There will also be a tour and identification talks about the very healthy range of flora that grows on the Canal and Castles and also on the rivers habitat flora.
Also on Friday after noon there will be a guided walk and talk about the Castle parks habitats and trees and they are now being managed in the face of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Crisis.
After Tea there will be the validation of records and the all important species count which will be followed by a Dusk Chorus and much anticipated Bat identification walk at 8.45. Moth trap setting woll also be happening in the background. Due to a large anticipated demand numbers will be restricted and booking will be through eventbrite.
Saturday Morning starts of very early for the Dawn CHORUS which is not to be missed and meet up will be at the Castle gates at 4.30am.
Following Dawn Chorus identification and recording the Moth traps will be collected and brought back to the Medieval Room for identification.
After Breakfast there will be a grass land and wildflower identification walk which will be followed by a Wild Life Safari identifying pollinators and all sorts of species.
The event will Finish up after lunch which is from 1-2pm and will be followed by lat call for records between 2-3pm when our Bioblitz ends.
It is hoped that we might be vised by local or visiting ecologists and recorders who might drop in and help spot any gaps.
Bioblitz events enable participants to learn about different types of plants, animals and insects in their local environment. This can help to increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity in the local area.
This bioblitz event will encourage members of the local community and other community’s to get involved in the management and improvement of their local environment.
It will also help to gather important data on the local environment, which can be used to inform future conservation efforts.
The Bioblitz events will be a fun and educational activity for people of all ages. They can help to promote a sense of community and encourage people to get involved in environmental projects.
This event aimsto support local biodiversity by identifying areas that need special attention or protection. This can help to improve the environment for wildlife and plants in the local area.
for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Hour Bioblitz
Friday & Saturday26th/27 May
Kilkenny Castle Park and The Canal
3.00 pm Launch at Medieval Room
3.30 pm Woodland Walk to River.
4.00 pm Tree Walk, talk and Identification with Colm Mangan.
3.30 – 5.30 pm Small Stream Citizen Science. Kick Sampling and invertebrate identification and other flora and fauna identification and recording.
6.00pm Dinner Break.
7.30 pm Validation of records
8.45 pm Dusk Chorus and Bat Walk. (Eventbrite)
11.00 pm Close
4.30 am Dawn Chorus.
6.00 am Moth Trap collection and Identification.
7.30 am Moth release and Breakfast.
9.00am. Record Validation.
9.30am Grassland species identification and recording.
11.30am Wild Life Safari.
2.00 pm Last Call for Records.
3.00pm Close and de-brief.
All are welcome to come along and support Keep Kilkenny Beautiful’s celebration of Earth Day! McDonnagh Junction, Kilkenny
There will be a range of interesting presentations, the launch of the Kilkenny Climate Hero’s Challenge, entertainment for kids, colouring, Mr Picker Pal (ask the young people, they know who he is) and free giveaways of books, bulbs and keep cups.
Young ecologists who impress might be lucky enough to get a converted magnifying glass for hunting mini beasts! All welcome to come and celebrate.
Speakers schedule for Earth Day
12:00 TD Malcom Noonan:- launch of Kilkenny Climate Hero Challenge
12:10 Nicky Brennan:- Kilkenny Age Friendly Tips from the older generation
12:20 Cllr David FitzGerald Mayor of Kilkenny City:- The Path to being first Carbon Neutral City
12:40 Patrick Jackson – Picker Pals
12:50 Paddy Phelan South East Energy Agency Grants & Supports Economy
13:00 John Carley South East Energy Agency Circular
13:10 Liam O’Brien Bagenalstown SEC Journey to Energy Master Plan
13:20 Seamus Nugent Kilkenny Sport Partnership Environment & Mental Health
13:30 Fergus Horgan KLP Food Waste to Compost
13:50 Pat Boyd Keep Kilkenny Beautiful Special Project Officer – Bio Bliz
14:00 Catriona Corr Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan
14:10 Marina DeCosta Sustainable Energy Communities SEC
14:30 Maria Dollard Chairperson Keep Kilkenny Beautiful – Tidy Towns and SEC’s – complementary synergy towards SDG’s
14:50 Mijke Jansen Barrow Valley Hub SEC Solar Panel EV Charger KLP LEADER Project
15:00 Breda Maher KCC Climate Action F
A very successful Annual Awards took place at the Rivercourt Hotel on John street on the 18th October 2022. A large attendance celebrated the best of Kilkenny. Pat Boyd our Chairperson welcomed all. Our keynote speaker was Malcolm Noonan TD Minister of State – Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage. Our theme was “Biodiversity at the heart of Climate Change”
Some of the large attendance.
The 2022 results were as follows:-
The Entrepreneur award : Kilkenny Cycle Tours
Hidden Gems award winners:-
Antoinette Quigley, Rioch St
Ms Gulnahar Qureshi, St Kieran’s Crescent
Delia Lowery, Nore Therapies, William St
James Lawlor, Glendine Heights
Lynch Family, Kennyswell Rd
Kilkenny Hero:- Pat O’Donnell
Fitzpatrick Shield for Community Effort:- St Johns Priory, John st.
Private garden pollinator award:- Judy & Jimmy Rhatigan, Riverside Drive
Community pollinator award:- Melville Heights, Bennettsbridge Road
Best Commercial Flower Display
Winner:- Langton’s, John Street Highly commended:- Biodecus, James Green
Most improved commercial premises
Winner:- Paris Texas, Mary’s Lane
Highly commended:- Lenehan’s Barrack St/Castlecomer Rd
Best Shop front
Winner:- Haven, John O’Connell’s Pharmacy. Rose Inn Street
Highly commended:- Iris, Parliament street
Winner:- Brennan’s Bottling Hall, Walkin Street
Highly commended:-Tynan’s Bridge House bar, Bateman Quay
Winner:- Newpark Hotel, Castlecomer road
Highly commended:-Fanad house, Bennettsbridge Road
Private Garden awards
Highly Commended :-
Heather & Pat Wood, Pearse St.
Liam McCormack, Greenfield Court
Mary & Noel Deevey, Riverside Drive
Pat & Michael Shortall, Riverside Drive
F Barry, Walkin street
Maurice Brennan, Glendine Heights
Una Thornton, Larchfield
John Lacey. Riverview
Ena Duffy, Fr Delahaunty Tce.
Joan O’Sullivan, Riverview
Dave Ryan, New Building Lane
Karen Bradley Monaghan, Fr Murphy Square
Catherine Duff, Glendine Heights
Joyce Nolan. Old Callan Rd.
Joe Maher, Edenvale Close
Noel Frawley, Cashel Avenue
Canice & Maura Hickey, Newpark Lower
John Butler, Glendine Heights
Mary Prendergast, Walkin street
Overall Winner:- Private Garden awards:- Tony Hayes, Glendine Heights
Runner Up :- Private Garden awards:- Brigid Breen, Dean Kavanagh Place
Residential Estates – Highly Commended:-
De la Salle place,
Best larger & smaller estates:-
Winner:- Old Newpark Winner:- Glendine Heights.
Runner up:- Robertshill Runner up:- St Kieran’s Crescent
Litter Pick Champion’s Award:- Kilkenny Lions Club
Most Sustainable Business Award:- The Cutting Veg, Ormonde street
Outdoor Education Award:- The Acorn Project – Maire Ni Braoinan
Sustainable Travel Activism Award:- Sean O’hArgain
Award for Excellence in Environmental Service
Kilkenny Co Co Streetscape maintenance crew
Kilkenny Street of the Year Award
“During 2022 Ormonde Street extensive upgrade undertaken by Kilkenny Co Co has excelled. The business premises on the street have also played their part in presenting an attractive newly upgraded city centre Street.”