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Home : Environment : Environment Newsletters : Summer 2003



The Acorn

Environmental Newsletter of Kildare County Council

Spring/Summer 2003

  A Message from the Mayor

  New Heritage Officer

  Photography Competition

  In the Bin!

  Litter Blackspot

  Litter Survey

  Litter Hotline

  New Packaging Regulations for Businesses

  Recycling Centre

  Recycling Banks

  Schools Page

  Green-Schools Awards

  Weatherwords Competition

  Wildlife Notes

  Hedgerows

  Frog Survey

  Newbridge Trees

  Contact Us

Message from the Mayor of County Kildare

As we look forward to the summer, you can see from this latest edition of the Acorn newsletter that a lot of things are happening in Kildare that will improve the environment- from the increase in the number of towns receiving a collection for recyclable materials to the changes affecting businesses and the amount of material they will be recycling.

The schools in Kildare are also playing their part in improving the environment. Litter, as ever, is an issue that has to be dealt with. I would ask all the people of Kildare to play their part in reducing this problem- this is our county and we need to look after it, for ourselves, for visitors and for future generations.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a great summer- let's hope we get the weather!

Jim Reilly

New Heritage Officer

A big welcome to Bridget Loughlin, the first Heritage Officer for Kildare County Council. Bridget has an important job in bringing together all aspects of Kildare's heritage. This involves educating the public in all aspects of heritage: from monuments and archaeological objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, geology, heritage gardens and parks and inland waterways.

These will be brought together in a Local Heritage Plan, a document that will form part of a National Heritage Plan. This will identify specific heritage features and determine how they are to be protected. Public consultations on this process will be held in Kildare under a Heritage Forum.

For more information contact Bridget at 045 873829, email: bloughlin@kildarecoco.ie  

Photo competition

   

Attention all photographers young and old!

Kildare County Council is holding a photographic competition that reflects the theme of: "Kildare-Good and Bad"

We want people to submit photographs of Kildare showing the environment of Kildare at its best and its worst. This means that you must take at least one photograph of the Kildare environment treated badly and one photograph showing the Kildare environment being cared for properly.

For more information and a copy of the entry form, contact the Environment Section, Kildare County Council, St. Mary's, Naas, tel.: 045 873838, fax: 045 873848, email: environ@kildarecoco.ie . Closing Date is Fri. 26 th September 2003.

environ@kildarecoco.ie . Closing Date is Fri. 26 th September 2003.


In the bin!


Litter Blackspot

We have decided to include this photograph of litter in the county, not because it is the worst example of littering- but because of the types of materials being dumped. Cardboard, paper and wood- the cardboard and paper can be recycled or composted, the timber could be reused or burnt - there was really no need to dump these items by the side of the road. If the person who left these things here was caught, he or she would face an on the spot litter fine of €125. If the offence was more serious we could take the person to court with a potential fine of €1904.

With the Council spending over €1,000,000 on street-cleaning in 2002, dealing with litter is a major concern for the Council- we would much prefer to spend this money on building more houses, improving roads or any of the other services we provide. Litter is a cost to us all- and one that we must do something about.

Litter survey

Litter, as we all know, is a problem in this country. Kildare County Council wants to know what you think about litter- who is responsible, why it is happening and what is being done about it. Please complete the questionnaire (you can also make copies of it if you wish) and return it to us. As an added bonus, all completed questionnaires will be entered into a draw for a free compost bin. Download the questionnaire here

Litter Hotline

If you witness somebody littering or wish to alert the Council to an area where littering occurs, ring the Litter warden Hotline: FREEPHONE 1800 243143.

New Packaging Regulations for Businesses

On 1 st March new Packaging Regulations were introduced by the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Martin Cullen TD. At the launch, the Minister stated:"Landfill disposal of commercial packaging waste is no longer an option, it must be recycled. The new Regulations are designed to ensure that any commercial packaging waste that can be recycled, is recycled".

The main feature of the new Regulations is the introduction of a requirement on all businesses who participate in placing packaging on the market - i.e. manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers - to segregate specified packaging waste materials arising on their premises and to have it collected by authorised waste operators for recycling. The specified packaging materials that must now be recycled are glass, paper, cardboard, steel, aluminium, plastic sheeting and wood."Packaging is a very significant waste stream and the vast majority of it is readily recyclable. The new Regulations are intended to change the dynamics of packaging waste recovery in the commercial sector" said the Minister.

We are currently writing to all businesses in Kildare to inform them of their obligations and also how they can meet these new requirements. For more information on recycling of packaging commercial waste, contact the Environment section.

Recycling Centre

Remember that the Recycling Centre at Silliot Hill at Kilcullen accepts the following materials for recycling. For further information on these services, contact Silliot Hill at 045 481946.

Domestic recyclables- free:

Cardboard newspapers/magazines waste paper plastic (all grades) glass bottles/jars steel/aluminium cans print toner cartridges clothes/textiles

Domestic recyclables @ €80 per tonne:

Waste oil, car batteries household hazardous waste scrap metal

Domestic waste for recovery @ €153 per tonne:

Electrical goods green waste flat glass

Vehicle scrappage @ €50 per vehicle:

Fuel, oil and brake fluid must be removed

Note: where there is a charge, you are only charged for the actual weight of material

Recycling in Kildare

Well done to everybody! The people of Kildare are proving to be great recyclers- in 2002, 1119 tonnes of glass and 35 tonnes of drinks cans were recycled in the Council bring banks. To put this in context, this is the same as 3,500,000 bottles or jars and 1,750,000 drinks cans! These figures mean that Kildare is in the top seven counties in the country for glass and can recycling.

Extension of recycling bins scheme

Following the success of the Leixlip Pilot Recycling Scheme, the Council has decided to extend the service to more towns in Kildare! People in Leixlip are obviously keen to play their part in recycling and hopefully, this will be repeated in the other towns. The towns are: Newbridge, Celbridge, Maynooth, Kilcock, Clane and Kildare.

This service will be offered to all customers of the Council refuse collection who wish to avail of the service. It will be similar to the Leixlip collection in that a second wheelbin will be provided for the collection of plastic drinks bottles, paper, cardboard and magazines, steel food cans and aluminium drinks cans. So if you live in one of these towns, watch out for the second bin- with recycling made this easy, how could you not play your part?

 

Recycling Banks in Kildare

Town

Location

Glass

cans

Textiles

  • Allenwood

Allenwood GAA Club

V

 

X

· Athy

(1) Edmund Rice Square Carpark

 V

 V

 

(2)Scoil Mhuire/Scoil Eoin, Rathstewart

X

v

X

· Ballymore Eustace

Handball Alley

v

v

X

· Barrettstown

Barrettstown Gang Camp

v

v

X

· Brownstown

Brownstown Inn

v

v

X

· Castledermot

Copes Carpark

v

v

v

· Celbridge

Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

 

GAA Carpark (Hazelhatch Road)

v

v

X

· Clane

(1) GAA Club

v

v

X

 

(2) Clane Health & Leisure Club, Celbridge Road

v

v

X

 

(3) Londis Carpark

X

X

v

· Coill Dubh

Dag Welds Carpark

v

v

X

· Derrinturn

Carpark

v

v

X

· Johnstown

Centra carpark

v

v

X

· Kilcock

GAA Club

v

v

X

 

colSpan=2>

Scout Den

Domestic Batteries

· Kildare

De LA Salle College

X

v

X

· Kill

Dew Drop Inn

v

v

X

· Leixlip

(1) Gleneaston Shopping Centre

v

v

X

 

(2) Newtown House

Newspapers/magazines/batteries

 

(3) Riverforest Carpark

v

v

v

 

(4) Ryevale Tavern

v

X

X

· Maynooth

(1) Council Carpark beside Glenroyal

v

v

X

 

(2)Maynooth College, North Campus (behind canteen)

v

v

X

 

(3) Maynooth College, South Campus

v

v

X

 

(4) Tesco Carpark

v

v

X

· Monasterevin

Beside firestation

v

v

X

· Naas

(1) Council Carpark

v

v

X

 

(2) Friary Road Carpark

X

X

v

 

(3) Swan Dowlings Carpark

v

v

X

 

(4) Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

· Newbridge

(1) Dunnes Stores Carpark

v

v

v

 

(2) Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

· Nurney

Opposite school

v

v

v

· Prosperous

Behind Larry's Bar

v

v

X

· Rathangan

New St., beside church

v

v

v

· Robertstown

Beside Hotel

v

v

X

· Silliot Hill Landfill

Naas-Kilcullen Road

v

v

v

· Staplestown

St. Kevins GAA Club

v

v

X

· Straffan

Community Hall

v

v

X

· Suncroft

National School

v

v

X

· Timahoe

Kellys Carpark

v

v

X


Schools Page


 

Heritage in Schools Scheme

This scheme is a partnership between the Heritage Council and the INTO. This scheme is designed to raise awareness of Ireland's built and natural heritage amongst primary school pupils. Speakers such as Anne Behan, Mairead Connellan, Patrick Madden and Dick Warner are available to talk on a wide range of issues- from wildlife to archaeology to nature studies to trees and waterways.

As the scheme is sponsored by the Heritage Council and the INTO, the cost to the school is very modest (a maximum of €75 for a full day). For more information, contact the INTO at:

Professional Development Unit, INTO, 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Tel.: 01 872 2533, email: info@into.ie , web: www.into.ie

Green-Schools Awards

Convent of Mercy, Naas, with Liz McManus T.D. at the An Taisce Green Flag Awards Ceremony  

Nine more schools in Kildare have received the Green Flag!  Earlier in the year, Colaiste Chiaran, Leixlip,The Glebe Montessori School, Leixlip and Scoil Eimhin Naofa, Monasterevin received the coveted flags. Intel once again showed their support for the Green-Schools programme in Kildare by hosting this awards ceremony in Leixlip, so a special thanks to Caroline and Lisa! In May, a further six schools received their flags at the aweards ceremony in An Taisce. They are:

  • Bunscoil Bhride, Rathangan
  • Convent of Mercy, Naas (pictured above)
  • Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Ballycane, Naas
  • Scoil Bhride, Clane
  • Scoil mhicil Naofa, Athy
  • Scoil Mhuire, Leixlip

The total number of schools in Kildare with the Green Flag is now fifteen. The others are: Scoil Bhride Naofa, Kildare Town, Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Prosperous, Scoil Eoin and Scoil Mhuire, Athy, St. Conleth's Infants School, Newbridge and Caragh National School. With 54 schools in Kildare now registered with the Green-Schools programme, hopefully there will be a few more flags flying in Kildare soon!

To keep in touch with the Green-Schools programme throughout the world, you can download the Eco Schools Newsletter at: www.eco-schools.org/html/newsletters.htm

 

Weatherwords Competition

Are you 12 or younger? Would you like to win an environment gift pack worth €50? Just enter this easy competition and be in with a chance to win.

When you fit all the weather words into the grid, the letters in the shaded boxes will spell out another weather word. Send in your answer to the Environment Section at the address on the back page. Please include your name, address, age, name of school and contact telephone number. If you prefer, you can email the answer and the details to environ@kildarecoco.ie .

Hint: Start with the longest word first.

3 letter word: Fog

4 letter words: Gale, Hail, Mist, Rain, Snow, Wind

5 letter words: Humid, Sleet, Storm

7 letter words: Cyclone, Drizzle, Tornado, Typhoon

8 letter words: Blizzard, Freezing, Heatwave, Sunshine

9 letter word: Hurricane

11 letter word: Temperature


Wildlife Notes


Hedgerows

What's so important about hedgerows?

Ireland is one of the least forested countries in Europe. Hedgerows are in effect linear strips of woodland- think of them as very long, skinny forests. They also act as 'roads' for much of our wildlife. They are vital habitats for this wildlife and important for the visual quality of the landscape. When people in Ireland picture the Irish countryside, most would include hedgerows as part of that picture.

What makes a hedgerow?

Most people will be familiar with hawthorn- the most common tree species in hedges. But many other plants and animals rely on hedges for survival- blackthorn, wild cherry, hazel, elder and gorse are common. Other trees such as maple, oak and ash also grow in hedges and you will often see them allowed to grow above the hedge itself. Plants such as foxgloves, herb robert, goosegrass, garlic mustard, primroses and dog violets are also common. Many butterflies and moths feed on certain hedgerow plants and the caterpillars of these insects are in turn eaten by the many bird species such as wrens, hedge-sparrows and whitethroats. Song thrushes and blackbirds eat earthworms, slugs and snails from the hedge bottoms, while the autumn berry crops are food for yellowhammers, bullfinches, chaffinches and winter visitors such as fieldfares and redwings.

Bigger animals such as field mice, pygmy shrews, hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes and badgers all use hedgerows to feed in, shelter and move along.

How are hedges managed?

Contrary to popular opinion, periodical hedge trimming need not be harmful. It can greatly improve a hedge that has become thin and 'leggy' through neglect. What can be harmful is using the wrong type of hedge cutter for large woody stems and indiscriminate cutting of hedgerow trees with chain saws. If a hedge is cut too frequently and kept very low, the amount of wildlife will be markedly reduced.

The best way to manage hedgerows is to cut them in rotation, so that there will always be some left uncut every year. Late winter is the best time for trimming to avoid undue disturbance to wildlife. The Wildlife Act 2000 also makes it an offence to cut hedges between March and August except for specific reasons (such as road safety). Some people still practice the old skill of hedgelaying, where the hedges are cut back by hand every 10-20 years.

What can you do to protect and enhance hedgerows?

If you think a hedge is being cut inappropriately, contact our new Heritage Officer, Bridget Loughlin at at 045 873829, email: bloughlin@kildarecoco.ie

Crann and the Irish Wildlife Trust are cooperating in a hedgerow project called networks for Nature networksfornature.com or write to Crann, Crank House, Main St., Banagher, County Offaly, Tel.: 0509 51718, fax: 0509 51938, email: info@crann.ie web: www.crann.ie

networksfornature.com or write to Crann, Crank House, Main St., Banagher, County Offaly, Tel.: 0509 51718, fax: 0509 51938, email: info@crann.ie web: www.crann.ie

Conservation Volunteers Ireland, Beggars Bush, Dublin 4, runs practical courses in hedge laying and hedge rejuvenation. Tel. 01 6681844, email: info@cvi.ie , web: www.cvi.ie

Birdwatch Ireland offer advice on encouraging birdlife in hedges, contact them at, 8 Longford Place, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Tel.: 01 2804322, fax: 01 2844407, email: bird@indigo.ie , web: www.birdwatchireland.ie/

bird@indigo.ie , web: www.birdwatchireland.ie/

Frog Survey

The Irish Peatland Conservation Council Frog Survey "Hop To It" continues to improve our knowledge of where frogs can be found in Ireland. With the survey almost completed- our knowledge of frogs is increasing

 IPCC, 119 Capel St., D. 1., email: bogs@ipcc.ie . You can also get the form from their website: www.ipcc.ie .

Newbridge trees

Newbridge Tidy Towns Association have been playing their part in keeping Newbridge clean & tidy over the years. An area of special attention for them is the Liffeyside Amenity Area, and this year "the strand" got a further boost with the addition of 32 silver birch trees supplied by Kildare County Council's Environment Section.

Chairman of the Tidy Towns Association Déaglán de Paor said " We have been planning to introduce a wildlife area at the strand for some time, and these Silver Birch trees were ideal for this purpose as they are a native species"

So when in Newbridge take some time to enjoy a peaceful walk in the Liffeyside Amenity Area.

 

Contact Us

The Environment Section, Kildare County Council, St. Mary's, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Tel.: 045 873838, fax: 045 873848, email: environ@kildarecoco.ie Web: www.kildare.ie/countycouncil

Photo competition

   

Attention all photographers young and old!

Kildare County Council is holding a photographic competition that reflects the theme of: "Kildare-Good and Bad"

We want people to submit photographs of Kildare showing the environment of Kildare at its best and its worst. This means that you must take at least one photograph of the Kildare environment treated badly and one photograph showing the Kildare environment being cared for properly.

For more information and a copy of the entry form, contact the Environment Section, Kildare County Council, St. Mary's, Naas, tel.: 045 873838, fax: 045 873848, email: environ@kildarecoco.ie . Closing Date is Fri. 26 th September 2003.

environ@kildarecoco.ie . Closing Date is Fri. 26 th September 2003.


In the bin!


Litter Blackspot

We have decided to include this photograph of litter in the county, not because it is the worst example of littering- but because of the types of materials being dumped. Cardboard, paper and wood- the cardboard and paper can be recycled or composted, the timber could be reused or burnt - there was really no need to dump these items by the side of the road. If the person who left these things here was caught, he or she would face an on the spot litter fine of €125. If the offence was more serious we could take the person to court with a potential fine of €1904.

With the Council spending over €1,000,000 on street-cleaning in 2002, dealing with litter is a major concern for the Council- we would much prefer to spend this money on building more houses, improving roads or any of the other services we provide. Litter is a cost to us all- and one that we must do something about.

Litter survey

Litter, as we all know, is a problem in this country. Kildare County Council wants to know what you think about litter- who is responsible, why it is happening and what is being done about it. Please complete the questionnaire (you can also make copies of it if you wish) and return it to us. As an added bonus, all completed questionnaires will be entered into a draw for a free compost bin. Download the questionnaire here

Litter Hotline

If you witness somebody littering or wish to alert the Council to an area where littering occurs, ring the Litter warden Hotline: FREEPHONE 1800 243143.

New Packaging Regulations for Businesses

On 1 st March new Packaging Regulations were introduced by the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Martin Cullen TD. At the launch, the Minister stated:"Landfill disposal of commercial packaging waste is no longer an option, it must be recycled. The new Regulations are designed to ensure that any commercial packaging waste that can be recycled, is recycled".

The main feature of the new Regulations is the introduction of a requirement on all businesses who participate in placing packaging on the market - i.e. manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers - to segregate specified packaging waste materials arising on their premises and to have it collected by authorised waste operators for recycling. The specified packaging materials that must now be recycled are glass, paper, cardboard, steel, aluminium, plastic sheeting and wood."Packaging is a very significant waste stream and the vast majority of it is readily recyclable. The new Regulations are intended to change the dynamics of packaging waste recovery in the commercial sector" said the Minister.

We are currently writing to all businesses in Kildare to inform them of their obligations and also how they can meet these new requirements. For more information on recycling of packaging commercial waste, contact the Environment section.

Recycling Centre

Remember that the Recycling Centre at Silliot Hill at Kilcullen accepts the following materials for recycling. For further information on these services, contact Silliot Hill at 045 481946.

Domestic recyclables- free:

Cardboard newspapers/magazines waste paper plastic (all grades) glass bottles/jars steel/aluminium cans print toner cartridges clothes/textiles

Domestic recyclables @ €80 per tonne:

Waste oil, car batteries household hazardous waste scrap metal

Domestic waste for recovery @ €153 per tonne:

Electrical goods green waste flat glass

Vehicle scrappage @ €50 per vehicle:

Fuel, oil and brake fluid must be removed

Note: where there is a charge, you are only charged for the actual weight of material

Recycling in Kildare

Well done to everybody! The people of Kildare are proving to be great recyclers- in 2002, 1119 tonnes of glass and 35 tonnes of drinks cans were recycled in the Council bring banks. To put this in context, this is the same as 3,500,000 bottles or jars and 1,750,000 drinks cans! These figures mean that Kildare is in the top seven counties in the country for glass and can recycling.

Extension of recycling bins scheme

Following the success of the Leixlip Pilot Recycling Scheme, the Council has decided to extend the service to more towns in Kildare! People in Leixlip are obviously keen to play their part in recycling and hopefully, this will be repeated in the other towns. The towns are: Newbridge, Celbridge, Maynooth, Kilcock, Clane and Kildare.

This service will be offered to all customers of the Council refuse collection who wish to avail of the service. It will be similar to the Leixlip collection in that a second wheelbin will be provided for the collection of plastic drinks bottles, paper, cardboard and magazines, steel food cans and aluminium drinks cans. So if you live in one of these towns, watch out for the second bin- with recycling made this easy, how could you not play your part?

 

Recycling Banks in Kildare

Town

Location

Glass

cans

Textiles

  • Allenwood

Allenwood GAA Club

V

 

X

· Athy

(1) Edmund Rice Square Carpark

 V

 V

 

(2)Scoil Mhuire/Scoil Eoin, Rathstewart

X

v

X

· Ballymore Eustace

Handball Alley

v

v

X

· Barrettstown

Barrettstown Gang Camp

v

v

X

· Brownstown

Brownstown Inn

v

v

X

· Castledermot

Copes Carpark

v

v

v

· Celbridge

Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

 

GAA Carpark (Hazelhatch Road)

v

v

X

· Clane

(1) GAA Club

v

v

X

 

(2) Clane Health & Leisure Club, Celbridge Road

v

v

X

 

(3) Londis Carpark

X

X

v

· Coill Dubh

Dag Welds Carpark

v

v

X

· Derrinturn

Carpark

v

v

X

· Johnstown

Centra carpark

v

v

X

· Kilcock

GAA Club

v

v

X

 

colSpan=2>

Scout Den

Domestic Batteries

· Kildare

De LA Salle College

X

v

X

· Kill

Dew Drop Inn

v

v

X

· Leixlip

(1) Gleneaston Shopping Centre

v

v

X

 

(2) Newtown House

Newspapers/magazines/batteries

 

(3) Riverforest Carpark

v

v

v

 

(4) Ryevale Tavern

v

X

X

· Maynooth

(1) Council Carpark beside Glenroyal

v

v

X

 

(2)Maynooth College, North Campus (behind canteen)

v

v

X

 

(3) Maynooth College, South Campus

v

v

X

 

(4) Tesco Carpark

v

v

X

· Monasterevin

Beside firestation

v

v

X

· Naas

(1) Council Carpark

v

v

X

 

(2) Friary Road Carpark

X

X

v

 

(3) Swan Dowlings Carpark

v

v

X

 

(4) Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

· Newbridge

(1) Dunnes Stores Carpark

v

v

v

 

(2) Tesco Carpark

v

v

v

· Nurney

Opposite school

v

v

v

· Prosperous

Behind Larry's Bar

v

v

X

· Rathangan

New St., beside church

v

v

v

· Robertstown

Beside Hotel

v

v

X

· Silliot Hill Landfill

Naas-Kilcullen Road

v

v

v

· Staplestown

St. Kevins GAA Club

v

v

X

· Straffan

Community Hall

v

v

X

· Suncroft

National School

v

v

X

· Timahoe

Kellys Carpark

v

v

X


Schools Page


 

Heritage in Schools Scheme

This scheme is a partnership between the Heritage Council and the INTO. This scheme is designed to raise awareness of Ireland's built and natural heritage amongst primary school pupils. Speakers such as Anne Behan, Mairead Connellan, Patrick Madden and Dick Warner are available to talk on a wide range of issues- from wildlife to archaeology to nature studies to trees and waterways.

As the scheme is sponsored by the Heritage Council and the INTO, the cost to the school is very modest (a maximum of €75 for a full day). For more information, contact the INTO at:

Professional Development Unit, INTO, 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Tel.: 01 872 2533, email: info@into.ie , web: www.into.ie

Green-Schools Awards

Convent of Mercy, Naas, with Liz McManus T.D. at the An Taisce Green Flag Awards Ceremony  

Nine more schools in Kildare have received the Green Flag!  Earlier in the year, Colaiste Chiaran, Leixlip,The Glebe Montessori School, Leixlip and Scoil Eimhin Naofa, Monasterevin received the coveted flags. Intel once again showed their support for the Green-Schools programme in Kildare by hosting this awards ceremony in Leixlip, so a special thanks to Caroline and Lisa! In May, a further six schools received their flags at the aweards ceremony in An Taisce. They are:

  • Bunscoil Bhride, Rathangan
  • Convent of Mercy, Naas (pictured above)
  • Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Ballycane, Naas
  • Scoil Bhride, Clane
  • Scoil mhicil Naofa, Athy
  • Scoil Mhuire, Leixlip

The total number of schools in Kildare with the Green Flag is now fifteen. The others are: Scoil Bhride Naofa, Kildare Town, Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Prosperous, Scoil Eoin and Scoil Mhuire, Athy, St. Conleth's Infants School, Newbridge and Caragh National School. With 54 schools in Kildare now registered with the Green-Schools programme, hopefully there will be a few more flags flying in Kildare soon!

To keep in touch with the Green-Schools programme throughout the world, you can download the Eco Schools Newsletter at: www.eco-schools.org/html/newsletters.htm

 

Weatherwords Competition

Are you 12 or younger? Would you like to win an environment gift pack worth €50? Just enter this easy competition and be in with a chance to win.

When you fit all the weather words into the grid, the letters in the shaded boxes will spell out another weather word. Send in your answer to the Environment Section at the address on the back page. Please include your name, address, age, name of school and contact telephone number. If you prefer, you can email the answer and the details to environ@kildarecoco.ie .

Hint: Start with the longest word first.

3 letter word: Fog

4 letter words: Gale, Hail, Mist, Rain, Snow, Wind

5 letter words: Humid, Sleet, Storm

7 letter words: Cyclone, Drizzle, Tornado, Typhoon

8 letter words: Blizzard, Freezing, Heatwave, Sunshine

9 letter word: Hurricane

11 letter word: Temperature


Wildlife Notes


Hedgerows

What's so important about hedgerows?

Ireland is one of the least forested countries in Europe. Hedgerows are in effect linear strips of woodland- think of them as very long, skinny forests. They also act as 'roads' for much of our wildlife. They are vital habitats for this wildlife and important for the visual quality of the landscape. When people in Ireland picture the Irish countryside, most would include hedgerows as part of that picture.

What makes a hedgerow?

Most people will be familiar with hawthorn- the most common tree species in hedges. But many other plants and animals rely on hedges for survival- blackthorn, wild cherry, hazel, elder and gorse are common. Other trees such as maple, oak and ash also grow in hedges and you will often see them allowed to grow above the hedge itself. Plants such as foxgloves, herb robert, goosegrass, garlic mustard, primroses and dog violets are also common. Many butterflies and moths feed on certain hedgerow plants and the caterpillars of these insects are in turn eaten by the many bird species such as wrens, hedge-sparrows and whitethroats. Song thrushes and blackbirds eat earthworms, slugs and snails from the hedge bottoms, while the autumn berry crops are food for yellowhammers, bullfinches, chaffinches and winter visitors such as fieldfares and redwings.

Bigger animals such as field mice, pygmy shrews, hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes and badgers all use hedgerows to feed in, shelter and move along.

How are hedges managed?

Contrary to popular opinion, periodical hedge trimming need not be harmful. It can greatly improve a hedge that has become thin and 'leggy' through neglect. What can be harmful is using the wrong type of hedge cutter for large woody stems and indiscriminate cutting of hedgerow trees with chain saws. If a hedge is cut too frequently and kept very low, the amount of wildlife will be markedly reduced.

The best way to manage hedgerows is to cut them in rotation, so that there will always be some left uncut every year. Late winter is the best time for trimming to avoid undue disturbance to wildlife. The Wildlife Act 2000 also makes it an offence to cut hedges between March and August except for specific reasons (such as road safety). Some people still practice the old skill of hedgelaying, where the hedges are cut back by hand every 10-20 years.

What can you do to protect and enhance hedgerows?

If you think a hedge is being cut inappropriately, contact our new Heritage Officer, Bridget Loughlin at at 045 873829, email: bloughlin@kildarecoco.ie

Crann and the Irish Wildlife Trust are cooperating in a hedgerow project called networks for Nature networksfornature.com or write to Crann, Crank House, Main St., Banagher, County Offaly, Tel.: 0509 51718, fax: 0509 51938, email: info@crann.ie web: www.crann.ie

networksfornature.com or write to Crann, Crank House, Main St., Banagher, County Offaly, Tel.: 0509 51718, fax: 0509 51938, email: info@crann.ie web: www.crann.ie

Conservation Volunteers Ireland, Beggars Bush, Dublin 4, runs practical courses in hedge laying and hedge rejuvenation. Tel. 01 6681844, email: info@cvi.ie , web: www.cvi.ie

Birdwatch Ireland offer advice on encouraging birdlife in hedges, contact them at, 8 Longford Place, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Tel.: 01 2804322, fax: 01 2844407, email: bird@indigo.ie , web: www.birdwatchireland.ie/

bird@indigo.ie , web: www.birdwatchireland.ie/

Frog Survey

The Irish Peatland Conservation Council Frog Survey "Hop To It" continues to improve our knowledge of where frogs can be found in Ireland. With the survey almost completed- our knowledge of frogs is increasing

 IPCC, 119 Capel St., D. 1., email: bogs@ipcc.ie . You can also get the form from their website: www.ipcc.ie .

Newbridge trees

Newbridge Tidy Towns Association have been playing their part in keeping Newbridge clean & tidy over the years. An area of special attention for them is the Liffeyside Amenity Area, and this year "the strand" got a further boost with the addition of 32 silver birch trees supplied by Kildare County Council's Environment Section.

Chairman of the Tidy Towns Association Déaglán de Paor said " We have been planning to introduce a wildlife area at the strand for some time, and these Silver Birch trees were ideal for this purpose as they are a native species"

So when in Newbridge take some time to enjoy a peaceful walk in the Liffeyside Amenity Area.

 

Contact Us

The Environment Section, Kildare County Council, St. Mary's, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Tel.: 045 873838, fax: 045 873848, email: environ@kildarecoco.ie Web: www.kildare.ie/countycouncil