has been done to protect biodiversity?
National Biodiversity Plan was published by the government in 2002.
It identifies actions to be under taken nationally for example surveys
of important habitats and schemes to establish native woodlands.
The Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) provides financial
incentives for farmers to manage their farm in a way which is sensitive
Areas which contain internationally important habitats and or species
have been designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Where
internationally important birds occur areas are designated as Special
Protection Area (SPA). These areas are protected from development
which will have a negative effect on the habitats or species. Areas
which are important nationally have been proposed as Natural Heritage
Areas (NHAs) There are over 80 proposed NHAs in County Clare, about
40 of which are also SACs.
Some funding is available for land owners to manage or plant new areas
of native woodland through the Native Woodland Scheme
You Can Do
all have a responsibility to conserve biodiversity. Government departments
and bodies such as the County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife
Service have a responsibility to develop policies and legislation to help
conserve biodiversity. However, you as individuals also have a responsibility
to conserve biodiversity at home, whether it is in your back garden or
on your farmland.
Retain any existing habitats in your garden such as ponds, woodland,
scrub and hedgerows.
If no pond exists consider creating a garden or farm pond. Avoid steep
sides to reduce the likelihood of hedgehogs and other animals drowning
and to encourage greater plant diversity.
Put up bird and bat boxes.
When planting trees, hedgerows and woodlands, use native tree and
Only cut hedgerows between the beginning of September and the end
of February. It is illegal to cut them from March to August.
Allow hedgerows to become bushy and wide.
Encourage wildflowers in lawns and grassy areas. Do not use artificial
fertiliser and leave some areas of grass unmown around edges or in
corners. Manage some areas as meadows, only cutting once a year in
Do not use pesticides, herbicides and slug pellets on your farm or
in your garden.
Do not use peat or peat based composts in your garden.
Compost your garden, kitchen or farm waste.
Ensure your septic tank is working properly.
Plant local, rare fruit, flower and vegetable varieties, such as those
available from the Irish Seed Savers. See Further Information below
for contact details.
Retain standing dead wood, where there is no safety concerns.
Leave cracks and crevices in walls where possible, do not over point
Do not pick or uproot wildflowers or plants.
Use biodegradable detergents and cleaning products and phosphate free
you are a farmer, you could:
- Manage farm
waste and silage in order to prevent runoff into watercourses.
- Retain any
existing habitats on your farm such as ponds, woodland, scrub and
- Where no ponds
or pools exist consider creating a pond. Without steep sides to
reduce the likelihood of hedgehogs and other animals drowning and
to encourage greater plant diversity.
- Manage some
areas as meadows, only cutting once a year in August.
- Consider planting
new hedges or shelterbelts along farm boundaries using native species
such as Hawthorn, Willow and Holly.
- Follow the
Good Farming Practice guide as set out by the Department of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Development.
- Enter your
farm in the REPS (Rural Environmental Protection Scheme), administrated
by the Department of Agriculture and Food or enter the National
Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Scheme.
- Convert to
Record the animal and plant species you see in Clare.
Join a local conservation group or start one in your area.
Join and participate in events with wildlife organisations. See the
chapter Further Information
on Biodiversity below for contact details of various organisations
involved in biodiversity.