Kildare Community Biodiversity Project Soon to Launch


Posted: 31 January 2020

Training on key aspects of local biodiversity to selected communities in Kildare

County Kildare LEADER Partnership, in partnership with Kildare County Council Heritage Officer, has recently awarded a significant contract to provide training on key aspects of local biodiversity to selected communities in the county. In all, ten communities throughout the county have been selected to take part in the project (see below). As well as providing each community with a range of skills in areas that are of central importance to the environment and biodiversity, each group will also work with the appointed consultants to produce a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) specific to their area. 

Green Pine Consultants, an environmental consultancy and landscape architect firm and Fiona MacGowan, a consultant ecologist and botanist, were recently appointed to deliver the project. Brian Gaynor from Green Pine consultants said "We are delighted to have been successful in winning this contract.  We have already been involved in community biodiversity planning in many communities across that country and we think that the approach County Kildare LEADER Partnership have set out will help build a strong focus within the county in dealing with many of the environmental issues facing communities across Ireland and beyond. Upskilling and helping to build confidence at a community level has proven to be a catalyst for some radical steps in dealing with biodiversity and broader environmental concerns while at the same time developing strong cohesive communities.  We look forward to this exciting collaborative work".

The benefits of this project will not only be felt within the selected communities but also throughout the rest of the county. It is expected that the process, and several of the actions identified, will be equally relevant and applicable in other communities. It is also envisaged that communities that are involved in the training could develop a few pilot projects in the coming years. 

"County Kildare LEADER Partnership are delighted to be partnering with Bridget Loughlin of Kildare County Council to offer this training programme to communities around the county free of charge. Biodiversity is evidently a theme that is resonating with people and we are happy to be able to respond to the interest that is out there in communities. We are encouraging people to get involved by attending the county-wide launch event on 13th February in Newbridge and by joining the sessions in the ten towns.  LEADER can fund specific capital, training, and analysis & development projects on sustainable water resources and biodiversity. If you have an idea for a project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team on 045-895450."

County Kildare LEADER Partnership would like to call on all interested members from the local communities selected to take part in the training programme. This includes representatives from local community groups, environmental groups, residents' groups, businesses and other organisations (e.g. sports clubs, faith groups, etc.), as well as farmers, other landowners, and local residents. The training is pitched at the whole community and all are welcome to attend. Whether you know a lot already about biodiversity, or you have an interest but don't know where to start, you are welcome to attend. 

The project will be launched on Thursday February 13th, with registration starting at 8pm in Newbridge Town Hall with special guest speakers including, Eanna Ni Lamhna and Ricky Whelan. This is a free event.

The training programme itself will involve two individual training sessions per community held on a weekday evening and a half day Saturday between the end of February to April 2020.  

To register your interest in attending the launch please contact Brian Gaynor at greenpineconsultants@gmail.com

The ten communities selected to take part are: Allenwood; Ballitore; Ballymore Eustace; Carbury; Celbridge; Clane; Kilcullen; Kill; Monasterevin; and Newbridge

LEADER is an EU programme to support community-led local development. The term "LEADER" comes from the French acronym for Liaison Entre Actions de Developpement de l'Economie Rurale, meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions'. LEADER is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Departmert of Rural and Community Development.

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