Biodiversity on Your Doorstep – Learning from Nature

Biodiversity on Your Doorstep – Learning from Nature
22 – 26 February 2021. 

Europe Direct, Waterford, Waterford Libraries and Waterford Environmental Department hosted a week of FREE online events from 22 – 26 February. The events were aimed at discovering biodiversity in your own back yard whether it is in your own garden, the local Nature Park or Greenway and giving information and inspiration on how to protect and improve our local ecosystems.

The EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 is a comprehensive, ambitious and long-term plan to protect nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. The strategy aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030, and contains specific actions and commitments.

It is the proposal for the EU’s contribution to the upcoming international negotiations on the global post-2020 biodiversity framework. A core part of the European Green Deal, it will also support a green recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.


Giving your Garden back to Nature – A Talk by Mary Reynolds
Monday 22 February 

After a long career as a landscape designer, Mary Reynolds realised one day that she had to stop what she was doing and step up and ask people to give their gardens back to nature. The more biodiversity you can establish in your patch of earth, the more complex a food web that is restored; the less biodiversity, the weaker an ecosystem. No need to plant anything unless soil is damaged or destroyed. Every square foot of healthy soil hides about 5000 seeds. We just need to encourage and allow them to emerge from the soil, and then slowly guide the system into as diverse a habitat as possible from woodland and native shrubby thickets down to meadow.

Change the way you think as a gardener. Wake up and become a guardian. Stop fighting nature and go against the controlling instinct and instead encourage those weeds, encourage untidiness, encourage life to return.

Event Recording: 


Bees, Birds & Trees- Biodiversity & Waterford Council
Tuesday 23 February


Join staff from Waterford City & County Council who tell us about Kilbarry Nature Park, planting for biodiversity, actions to help pollinators, opportunities for schools and Tidy Town Groups as well as the Let the Dandelions Bee Campaign and some exciting Biodiversity Projects planned for 2021.

Waterford City & County Council Panel:
Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer
Bernie Guest, Heritage Officer
Eoin Dullea, Horticulturist
Claire Hartley, Head of Communications (Chair)

Event Recording: 

Discover the new Digital Wildlife of Ireland Map!
Wednesday 24 February

Neil Tarrant, along with Mairéad Ní Chiaruáin, is the co-creator of Ireland’s first Digital Wildlife Map! This new online learning tool has been created especially for primary school students to help them and their families learn about the wildlife they can help protect in their communities. The interactive map is a fun way to learn all about the birds, mammals and fish native to Ireland. Children can explore the island of Ireland at home on the phone, tablet or computer, learn about which species are native to which areas, and test their knowledge with quizzes as they complete activities.
With everyone staying home during the current restrictions, and home-schooling ongoing, the Wildlife of Ireland Map offers another resource for parents to engage children in learning and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a device. The map can be accessed on the Libraries Ireland website at

Event Recording:

The Birds, the Bees, the Flowers and the Trees
Biodiversity – from Brussels to your Doorstep! With Ecologist / MEP Grace O’Sullivan
Thursday 25 February 

Join Ecologist and MEP Grace O’Sullivan for The Birds, the Bees, the Flowers and the Trees: Biodiversity – from Brussels to your Doorstep!

Event Recording:

Learn how to spot Spring Flowers and become a Citizen Scientist
with Oisín Duffy from the Waterford’s National Biodiversity Data Centre
Friday 26 February 

Discover how to spot 20 easily identifiable spring flowers and how you can become a Citizen Scientist and learn how to record your findings and contribute to furthering plant conservation in Ireland. Also find out more about the National Biodiversity Data Centre which is based in Waterford and how Biodiversity data is a key requirement for understanding our natural surroundings, for tracking change in our environment and for gaining a greater insight on how we benefit from, and impact upon, the ecosystem goods and services provided by biological diversity; a national asset which contributes at least €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year.

Event Recording:

Presentation Notes from How to spot Spring Flowers and become a Citizen Scientist
with Oisín Duffy from the Waterford’s National Biodiversity Data Centre

Click Image to View Presentation Notes in PDF format









Presentation Notes from Bees, Birds & Trees: Biodiversity & Waterford Council Panel Event

Click Image to View Presentation Notes in PDF format








Click Image to View Presentation Notes in PDF format








Click Image to View Presentation Notes in PDF format







Useful Links:

Environmental Protection Agency          

The Environmental Protection Agency is at the front line of environmental protection and policing to ensure that Ireland’s environment is protected.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Conservation of ecosystems to maintain and enhance populations of flora and fauna in Ireland. Advise on the protection of habitats and species promote awareness of natural heritage and biodiversity issues through education, outreach to schools.

Implementation of National and EU legislation and policies for nature conservation and biodiversity including the EU Habitats and Birds Directives

European Union publications on Biodiversity

52 Tips for Biodiversity:

52 Steps Towards a Greener City:

European Commission DG Environment – Nature and Biodiversity

EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030                                

European Green Deal – Striving to be the first climate-neutral continent

The European Green Deal provides an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, restoring biodiversity and cutting pollution.

Mary Reynolds / We are the Ark

We are the Ark

Wildlife of Ireland Online Map

Libraries’ Ireland Wildlife of Ireland Online Map and learning resource

Images, information and quizzes about Ireland’s birds, mammals and fish

National Biodiversity Data Centre

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national organisation which collects and manages data on Ireland’s biodiversity in order to document our wildlife resource and to track how it is changing over time.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national centre for the collection, collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data on Ireland’s biological diversity.

Citizen Science Portal

Biodiversity Maps

Spring Flowering Plants Project

Spring Flowers:

Spring Flowers:




All Ireland Pollinator Plan:

Actions to Help Pollinators

Invasive Species:
Species Profiles:
Garden wildlife booklet:

Bird Watch Ireland
The primary objective of Bird Watch Ireland is the protection of wild birds and their habitats in Ireland.

Irish Wildlife trust
The Irish Wildlife Trust is a conservation charity committed to raising awareness of Ireland’s rich natural heritage and protecting it for future generations.

Irish Seed Savers
Their main objective is to protect Ireland’s food crop heritage for future generations. We encourage communities to come together to share seeds and plants, all with the aim of promoting Ireland’s biodiversity.

Friends of the Earth
Campaign to bring about the system change needed for a just world where people and nature thrive.

Tree Council of Ireland
The Tree Council of Ireland is an umbrella body for organisations involved in planting, management and conservation of trees in Ireland.

Irish Peatlands Conservation
Our mission is to protect a representative sample of the peatlands of Ireland for people to enjoy today and in the future.

© 2018 Waterford City & County Council Library Service.