Ardscoil na Mara
-an Edmund Rice School

Biodiversity Champions Challenge: Getting Involved.

12-February-21
Biodiversity Champions Challenge: Getting Involved.

Dear parents, students, and staff,

I hope this email finds you all safe and well. Another half term has flown by very quickly but with it comes longer days and the arrival of Spring. You might have already noticed the frogspawn when out on your daily walk. It’s a welcome sight.

As you may already know, we have launched a Biodiversity Champion Challenge which is now in full swing. It has been uplifting to see the photos of our students and their families planting hedges for butterflies, being incredibly creative making their own bird feeders out of recycled plastic, installing water butts, and making plans to take action. Keep the photos coming!

One of the most striking lessons from the pandemic is the power of collective action. Communities and governments have worked together across the world to reduce transmission. This gives me great hope that we can also work together to stem the suffering that is caused and will be caused by the climate crisis. Aine Lynch, a wildlife ranger, spoke with our TY students about how we are starving our wildlife populations because of our intensive land management practices. Aine spoke about the decline of bird species in Ireland and other wildlife. Speaking with Aine made me, once again, appreciate the power of conversation. Everyone on that call felt energised to do something about this.

The Biodiversity Champion Challenge is an opportunity for all of us to engage with nature. Collectively we can bring nature back. I hope this challenge will foster conversation, community, wellbeing, awareness and climate action too. You can register your family’s interest on this form or you can sign up to our biodiversity champion challenge classroom which has lots of resources. The google classroom code is tgau2i2 .

We have also created lots of short clips which you might find helpful:

- More information about the challenge.

- How to do a lot for nature by doing very little! Don’t mow all of your lawn.

- How to create a wildlife hedge without spending money.

- Preparing your ground for a wildflower meadow. What can you do with the grass you have dug up?

- How to make paper pots.

- How to sow tiny seed in recycled soup containers which make excellent propagators.

- How to prick out young seedlings.

Mr Cawley and the deputy principals have also been busy in the school preparing the ground for sowing seed. They have plenty of helpful hints and tips.

I have also attached two very useful resources that will help to make your garden and community more wildlife friendly. Our wildflower seeds have arrived and we are in the process of packaging them up. When they are ready for collection, we will let you know.

Finally, I would like to invite you to an online talk with Aine Lynch, a wildlife ranger. The talk will take place on Thursday 18th Feb during the holiday from 8.30-9.15pm. Aine will be talking about what’s happening with Irish Wildlife and her work with Barn Owls. Before the meeting starts you can click on this link to access the talk: https://zoom.us/j/93762503458?pwd=U0VnVFFpOTZ5NkVsclBIMnpRRWV0UT09

Enjoy the half term break.

Warmest regards

Mr. Kirwan

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Ardscoil na Mara,
Summerhill,
Ballycarnane,
Tramore,
Co. Waterford
X91 Y981

051 395 124


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