Wildlife, habitats and natural amenities: year 1 update

Year 1 update: Wildlife, habitats and natural amenities​

Construct and monitor bug hotels, bat and bird boxes 

We’ve made bird and bat boxes. We’ve given them to members of the community or placed them in the area.

We do not have a  record of how many we’ve given out but we’ve had reports reports that birds have nested in some of the boxes. We’ll try to record the number of boxes, their location and what species of bird has nested in them.

We’ve also completed a desktop study on bats in Ballinora. We’ll use it to inform a field study to identify local bat species with the help of experts if available. We’ve brought a bat detector Echometer Touch 2 Pro to help us.

Identify areas for planting pollen producing trees, shrubs and annuals

We’re following the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and it’s pollinator friendly planting code.

We’ve identified some areas for planting and will keep looking for other suitable areas. 

Get the local National School in Biodiversity and Green Flag initiatives involved

The principal of the local National School is interest in the work that we and the Tidy Towns group do. Once Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted we’ll try to involve the school in our Nature and Biodiversity projects.

Training and advice from outside agencies for schools and residents

SECAD and Wildwork
We have links with SECAD through our work with Wildwork – Wildwork gave us advice and training on Habitat Mapping techniques.

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted SECAD will continue their Heritage in Schools programme.

We’ll work with UCC to digitise our Habitat maps.

Cork County Council
Cork County Council have been given us advice and grant funding for a number of our projects.

We’ve also discussed ideas with other TidyTowns groups. 

Land owners’ interest in farm biodiversity and their help with a biodiversity plan

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, a community nature awareness programme will begin. This will be at the  school in Ballinora.

Find and deal with invasive plants correctly

We’ve started to identify areas with invasive species.  We’ll put an eradication plan in place once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Digitise habitat maps to Fossitt Level 2 and one to Fossitt Level 3

We classify our habitats following ‘A guide to habitats in Irelandwhich uses the Fossil system.

We’ve completed a Fossitt Level 3 Habitat map of the area at Hall Hill which you can see in Ballinora by the school.

The data for the Level 3 map is being put together and UCC will digitise the Habitat map.

We’ve also completed a desktop study of an area of interest to Fossitt Level 2 which we’ll map to Fossitt Level 3. 

Identify and preserve wildlife areas 

We have no update at the moment. 

Training programme to increase involvement in biodiversity – including a district species list

Training programmes have stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions. Local flora and fauna species lists are being put together from sightings (fauna) and listings from a professional biologist (flora).

Put up signs to show the location and nature of the habitats

A lectern sign has been put up in Ballinora showing the location and a habitat description for the habitat mapped to Fossitt Level 3.

Give training on habitat mapping, species identification and introduce the Schools Heritage Programme

All classroom training programmes have been suspended due to COVID-19 – including the habitat mapping training programme.

Wildwork published a video on habitat mapping training to use instead.

Get base line data for flora and fauna within the habitat mapped to Fossitt Level 3

We’ll complete this when we have the appropriate expertise and grant funding.

List indicator species within the habitats and record their population

We’ll complete this when we have the appropriate expertise and grant funding.

Develop a wildlife conservation plan with the school, land owners and other interested parties

Once we’ve completed of our Habitat Mapping project, we’ll ask for help from Wildwork and look for grant funding.  We’ll prepare a wildlife plan to discuss with interested parties.