Hope you're enjoying the first signs of Spring, the frosty weather and lengthening days.

This months newsletter is packed with events, but starts off with a lovely account from Wicklow of a day spent restoring woodland habitat. Grab a cuppa and dig in, or have a look at the Contents list for a quick overview.

I wanted to specifically draw your attention to a new campaign from Birdwatch Ireland and the Environmental Pillar, asking you to send a quick email to help save our Hen Harriers. These little raptors have captured people's hearts with their sky dancing, but they could be extinct in our lifetime if we don't act now. Please take a moment to read about the skydancers and see what you can do to help.

All the best,



Local News

  • Tender Loving Care - Planting woodland in Wicklow


  • See 'Quick Guide to Events'

News and Announcements

  • Save the Skydancer! Take action now to save our iconic Hen Harrier
  • Organic Horticulture at the Organic Centre - courses for 2024
  • Climate Competition for Community Groups
  • Room Hire at the Rediscovery Centre
  • Boiler House Café, Dublin
  • Book a tour at the Rediscovery Centre
  • Public Participation Networks. Spotlight on Fingal, Laois, Roscommon

Surveys & Petitions

  • Marine Protected Area Law
  • For the attention of Ireland's veterinary professionals

Job Opportunities

  • Rediscovery Centre


  • Find out more about IEN member groups

Quick Guide to Events


  • 10th @ 10am: Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Upholstery - Dublin
  • 17th @ 3.30pm: Irish Ecosystems and the Nature Restoration Law - Kerry
  • 17th @ 11am: Bottle Lamp Making Workshop - Dublin
  • 17th @ 3.30pm: Bat Roosts and Volunteering - Westmeath
  • 20th @ 7.15pm: Nourishing our Communities - Carlow
  • 24th @ 10am: Furniture Revamping Workshop - Dublin
  • 26th @ 7pm: Spring Webinars with Irish Forest School - Online


  • 2nd @ 11am: Annual Online Gathering of Community Growers - Online
  • 9th @ 10am: Repair Cafe at Rediscovery Centre - Dublin
  • 23rd @ 11am: Earth Day: Water Workshop for Kids - Dublin


  • 24th - 26th: Whale Watching Course - West Cork

Local News


Taking part in woodland restoration in Wicklow

West Wicklow Environmental Network


We zoom by in our cars, racing to the shops, to school, or to get to work, when all the while we’re passing a somewhat hidden gem. Next to the N81 road, near Russborough House lies an old gravel pit, one of many in the area. Long depleted, the pit has been given a new lease of life, not as a commercial enterprise, but as a reserve for nature restoration. The Native Woodland Trust took over the land about ten years ago on a long lease from Wicklow County Council.


It’s an unusual spot with a huge sunken pit that once contained trucks and diggers but is now left to nature. It's wonderful to see how nature is slowly reclaiming the low-lying area with grasses and willows, and the steep sun-warmed banks providing shelter for a variety of wildlife. On the upper edges are mature trees and shrubs.

On Saturday 6th January 2024, West Wicklow Environmental Network and other volunteers met with Jeremy Casey from the Trust to provide the reserve with as he called it ‘a little TLC - Tender Loving Care.’ One of the big jobs of the day was to plant native trees such as Holly, Hawthorn, Elm and Blackthorn near an avenue of beech in the reserve. These magnificent beech trees - many nearing 350 years of age are unfortunately reaching the end of their natural lifespan so the volunteers underplanted 60 trees which will grow as the older trees naturally die away.


Another group of volunteers took part in maintenance of trees planted last February. These small trees, hardly more than thin twigs, were protected by cardboard from the local rabbit population. However as there is an increasing number of deer in the area, these cardboard guards needed to be replaced with sturdy tall plastic guards. The cardboard was reused as mulch around the young trees. New stakes were also put in to support the trees as they grow. You might notice these tree guards as you drive by. 


The last group did a stellar job of vegetation management. Buddleia bushes had seeded themselves in the reserve. Although the Buddleia is a lovely shrub and the butterflies love it, it doesn’t offer much other benefit to wildlife. Buddleia is not native to Ireland and is classified as an invasive species. To give the young native trees a chance to thrive, the Buddleia was diligently cut back by a team of volunteers using loppers and secateurs.


Next time you travel down the N81, on the stretch between Poulaphouca and Russborough, take a moment to appreciate the wonderful work carried out by the Native Woodland Trust and its volunteers in this small reserve. The West Wicklow Environmental Network were delighted to take part and we hope to participate again in the future.


For information about the West Wicklow Environmental Network, you can find us on facebook or email [email protected] to be put on our mailing list.


Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Upholstery

February 10th

Dublin 10am

Discover the art of furniture upholstery with Nessa Doran O'Reilly, Programme Manager for Rediscover Furniture. Join us for a hands-on workshop where you'll learn to remove and reupholster a drop seat cover. The Rediscovery Centre will provide the demonstration drop seat and all materials will be provided on the day.

Book here

Irish Ecosystems and the Nature Restoration Law

February 17th

Tralee, Kerry 3.30pm

Join us at Tralee Wetland centre for an event exploring some of the ecosystems and species found in Kerry and across Ireland. We will also discuss the importance of national and EU legislation, such as the Nature Restoration Law and the new Irish Marine Protected Area bill, in protecting and restoring these areas and the species that rely on them.

Gerard Scollard from the IWT Kerry branch will speak about some of the work being done in Kerry by IWT and other environmental groups.

Sean Kelly, Member of the European Parliament will join us to talk about his ‘Bee Better’ campaign and the need for healthy pollinator populations.

We will also hear from Louise Overy on some of the work being done in the community around seagrass, oysters and elasmobranchs.

Grace Carr, Marine Advocacy Officer with the IWT will give an overview of the Nature Restoration Law and its importance to marine ecosystems.

Fair Seas will also give an update on the national Marine Protected Area legislation and where we are in the process.

Martha Farrell, who was awarded Individual of the year in the Clean Coasts Ocean Hero awards will speak about her journey working in biodiversity conservation and her mission to change and inspire minds.

More speakers are to be confirmed so keep an eye on our social media and future newsletters for more details.

Book here

Bottle Lamp Making Workshop

February 17th

Dublin - 11am

Join Emmet Bosonnet from Kopper Kreation as he demonstrates how to turn an old glass drinks bottle into a new lamp! Emmet will demonstrate the whole process from start to finish and you will leave with the skills and knowledge needed to try this at home for yourself. Emmet will show you the tools needed and techniques used to turn your old bottle into a lamp at home. We will also have a raffle on the day and the lucky winner will receive the lamp that's made on the day!

Please note that this is a demonstration based workshop and only Emmet will be working on the glass bottle during the workshop.

Book here

Bat Roosts and Volunteering

February 17th - 3.30pm


For all batty enthusiasts! Please join Bat Conservation Ireland for two very interesting presentations on bats roosts in New Zealand and volunteering as part of a bat group:


  • 'Locating Long tailed bat roosts in the Hūnua Ranges and Franklin District, New Zealand', David Clarke, Bat Ecologist with Bat Conservation Ireland
  • ‘Northern Ireland Bat Group – successes, challenges and the power of volunteers.’ – Karen Healy, Projects Coordinator with Bat Conservation Ireland


Date: Saturday, 17 February 2024

Time: 3.30pm

Location: Edgeworth Suite, Annebrook House Hotel, Austin Friars Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath -https://www.annebrook.ie/location.html


These presentations will be preceded by our AGM, which is open to Bat Conservation Ireland members to attend.

If you have any questions about the event please email [email protected]

County Carlow Environmental Network presents:

Nourishing our Communities

February 20th - 7.15pm


What do you get when you combine a community café, a community grocer and a community bike works? Plus a repair café, a sewing workshop, garden sharing, and a honey-making enterprise? Together We Grow is a film about building community resilience and you can find out how people came together in an urban centre in New Zealand and did it.

Following the success of some recent Meet the Producer film nights in Carlow Town and Tullow, we are pleased to be in Bagenalstown, County Carlow on Tuesday, 20th February 2024 in the Presentation de la Salle Secondary School, Bagenalstown, registration at 7.15pm for a prompt 7.30pm start for a film, conversation and refreshments.

Together We Grow from Happen Films is a 40 minute film created in a suburb in New Zealand, where a transformative social enterprise began. And it all started with a woman named Julia who volunteered to help some kids and teachers out in a local school food garden.

Following the screening, we will have a panel of County Carlow community growers talking about the challenges and opportunities of having community growing spaces – be that growing vegetables, supporting eco-systems, or simply taking care of our mental health. Our panel will be moderated by Dee Sewell who is herself a wealth of knowledge and experience on gardening in our communities.

Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided, but booking is advisable via Eventbite.

Furniture Revamping Workshop

February 24th

Dublin - 10am

Join Marianne, The Revamp Tramp, and learn how to prepare and paint your furniture, exploring various techniques such as decoupage, stenciling, glazing and distressing. Bring a small piece of furniture with you and discover how to plan and complete your design, leaving the workshop with a fully finished piece of revamped furniture.

All materials are supplied on the day to help transform your chosen piece of furniture into something truly special. Your only task is to bring the furniture item you'd like to revamp.

Free parking will be available at the venue. Lunch is not included but there is a Café at the Rediscovery Centre.

This workshop is suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to those wanting to learn new furniture revamping techniques.

For inquiries or assistance in choosing the right furniture piece, contact Marianne at [email protected].

Note: This workshop is open to ages 16 and above.

Book here

Spring Webinars with Irish Forest School

February 26th - 7pm


The Irish Forest School Association are delighted to open bookings for their 4th series of Spring Webinars, online via zoom starting Mon 26th Feb at 7pm - All welcome - free to IFSA members; non-members €15

Get your tickets here

Annual Online Gathering of Community Growers

March 2nd - 11am


On Saturday 2nd March 2024 at 11am, Community Gardens Ireland and Social Farms and Gardens Northern Ireland are organising our 3rd annual online gathering of community growers!

This is always an incredibly popular event and is the largest online event for anyone interested in allotments, community gardens and community growing across the island of Ireland.

The 2024 theme is Food Education!

Find out more

Repair Cafe at Rediscovery Centre

March 9th - 10am


Join us at the Rediscovery Centre on the 9th of March 2024 where you can bring along your broken item and work together with our experts to help you repair it. There will be experts in textiles, furniture and bicycles.

Places on the day are on a first come and first served basis. Please find below a list of repairs we can provide. While we can’t upcycle or take on big projects on the day we are happy for you to use your timeslot to get advice on how to complete your project at home.

The Bike Team can work on the following repairs with you:

- Bike assessment

- Bike fit adjustment

- General tuning and adjustments

- Puncture repair and tire replacement of common wheel sizes

- Mechanical brake cable and common brake pads replacements

- Mechanical gear cable and common chain/gear size replacements

- Wheel straightening

The Textiles team can work on the following repairs with you:

- Patching holes in clothing/textiles

- Taking up hems on skirts, tops or trouser legs

- Fixing zips but not replacing zips

- Replacing buttons

- While we can’t upcycle or do alterations on the day we are happy for you to use your timeslot to get advice on how to complete the upcycle or alteration at home

The Furniture team can work on the following repairs with you:

- Wooden dining chairs

- Wooden kitchen chairs

- Wooden coffee tables

- Wooden stools

- Footstools

- While we can’t upcycle or take on big projects on the day we are happy for you to use your timeslot to get advice on how to complete your project at home

Get tickets here

Earth Day: Water Workshop for Kids

March 23rd

Dublin - 11am

Join us this Earth Day for the Rediscovery Centre's water workshop for kids. Come and discover our watery world at the Rediscovery Centre on Saturday 23rd March. Children will learn about where water comes from, how we use it, how important it is, and how we can protect our aquatic environment. A number of games and hands-on activities are included. Suitable for children aged 6 to 12 years.

Get tickets here

Whale Watching Courses

The Irish Whale & Dolphin Group is delighted to announce their return to the wonderful CECAS Ctr, in Leap, West Cork, for their 2024 summer series of Residential weekend whale watching courses. Participants will attend a series of indoor presentations and guided land-based watches, during which they will learn the field-skills required to observe, identify and record these magnificent marine mammals. Incorporated into the weekend will be a 4-5hr boat trip with our partners at Cape Clear Ferries. The first of these two courses is May 24-26th.

Book May 24th - 26th

Book Sept 20th - 22nd

News and Announcements

Save the Skydancer!

The Hen Harrier is an iconic bird of Ireland’s uplands, but this spectacular bird, known as Ireland’s ‘skydancer’ for its acrobatic courtship displays, is edging closer to extinction.

The recently published 5th national survey of Hen Harriers for 2022 reveals shocking declines in this iconic bird of prey, with only 85 confirmed pairs of Hen Harrier recorded throughout the country.

This spectacular species is at crisis point’ as hen harrier numbers decline by a third since 2015 and 59% since the first national survey 1998/2000

A key reason for this collapse is the loss of heather and grassland habitats in our uplands due to forestry, wind energy development and agricultural intensification

In response to concern from the European Commission the Irish government initiated a Hen Harrier Threat Response Plan (HHTRP) to address the decline in the species in 2013. Over a decade later the government’s plan is open for public consultation.

You can help save the Hen Harrier! Demand an ambitious and workable plan to protect this iconic species.

The Environmental Pillar and Birdwatch Ireland asking the public for their support to save the skydancing Hen Harrier from extinction. Send the National Parks and Wildlife Service a submission on the HHTRP with our three key asks:

  1. Protect all nationally important Hen Harrier breeding and wintering grounds from afforestation, forest management, wind energy development and other pressures.
  2. Restore habitat across all nationally important breeding and wintering sites using clear restoration targets and timelines.
  3. Guarantee long-term support for farmers through well-funded results-based schemes across all nationally important breeding and wintering grounds.

Submissions can emailed to [email protected] or in writing to: Hen Harrier Threat Response Plan Consultation, Agri-Ecology Unit, National Parks and Wildlife Service, 90 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin D07 N7CV.

You can read a full list of our asks for the Hen Harrier Threat Response Plan here.

Read more about the campaign to Save The Skydancer here

Organic Horticulture at the Organic Centre

Applications are now open for the QQI Level 5 course in Organic Horticulture 2024 at the Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim.

Running over a twelve-month period the QQI level 5 course in Organic Horticulture is delivered in partnership with the Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim Education and Training Board.(MSLETB).

The course is a fully funded and accredited further education course and is taught on-site. The course starts in March 11th and we would encourage you to apply as early as you can. Applications close on February 16th 2024.

The course gives you everything you need if you are thinking about a future as an organic grower/farmer. Current modules include: Work Practice, Plant Identification and Use, Plant Science, Plant Protection. Organic Production, Biodiversity, Team Working, Fruit and Vegetable Production, Soil science and Growing media.

This course is open to anyone. If you need more info talk to the team here at the Centre or contact Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB). email: [email protected] or ring and chat to Steve, Phil or Ingrid on 071 9854338

Register Here

Climate competition for community groups

Global Action Plan Ireland is inviting community groups all over Ireland to take part in an innovative and exciting climate competition.

Funded by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs, the ‘Climate Heroes’ competition will see local groups across the country compete to reduce their carbon footprints. Participants will take as many climate-positive actions as they can, and our online app will translate activities logged into CO2 emissions saved. The team that saves the greatest amount of greenhouse gas emissions are the winners of this exciting competition.

The team-based climate competition will begin on 15th April and last until 26th April.

Find out more

Room Hire at Rediscovery Centre

As the National Centre for the Circular Economy, Rediscovery Centre is a prime eco-destination for Dublin. The Centre is a state of the art facility with a focus on sustainability and reuse. It has excellent public transport links, and is ten minutes away from Dublin airport and twenty minutes from the city centre.

Rediscovery Centre is perfect for meetings that require a unique setting and that have a focus on sustainability and the protection of the environment. The facilities in our Centre are suitable for conferences, workshops, meetings and exhibitions. As a social enterprise, all of our income for onsite events is reinvested back into Rediscovery Centre.

Find out more here

Boiler House Café

Dublin - Wednesday to Saturday

9am - 3.30pm

Under the expert guidance of our new Innovation Chef, the Rediscovery Centre’s Boiler House Café is launching a new menu.

Our Innovation Chef Barry Bryan is leading the Café team as part of our Food Surplus Café research project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ireland Green Enterprise Programme. As part of this project we are minimising waste in the kitchen, taking food surplus from local partners and developing guidelines for other cafes to replicate this model across the country.

Featuring crafty home-made sandwiches, crisps, beautifully baked bread, and many more delicious bites created with surplus food, we highly recommend a visit. Our Café is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Our new menu has something for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten free diets.

Book a tour at Rediscovery Centre: our extraordinary 3D Textbook!

Have you had the chance to explore our one-of-a-kind Centre in person yet? Built with best-practise sustainable design and construction, this is a tour not to be missed.

Our friendly and knowledgeable guides offer bespoke and comprehensive tours of Rediscovery Centre. Visitors of all ages will learn the unique background of Rediscovery Centre, the history of the old Ballymun Boiler House, and the work that the Rediscovery Centre carries out for the benefit of the community, the circular economy and our planet.

Encompassing our biodiversity garden, our reuse workshops, and much more, you’ll have a chance to explore the amazing elements that make our Centre so exceptional. You are also guaranteed to come away with a better understanding of environmental care, the circular economy and take away helpful tips for greener living. Whether you’re a primary or secondary school group, a community gathering, a corporate team, or an enthusiastic individual, we tailor bespoke tours to cater to your unique interests and needs.

Times & Prices Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and take approximately one hour. The tours are priced at €7.50 Adults €6.00 Concession €5 Children

Find out more here

Public Participation Networks

Local Change for Global Impact

Are you involved with a local group that focuses on issues of climate, environment, biodiversity or sustainability? Would you like to make change in your area, meet other local groups, and hear local news and funding opportunities?

Join your Public Participation Network for all this and more! The PPNs support local groups to shape better decision-making in communities by connecting them with their local authority. They are powerful change making tools, and need groups who can be a voice for the local environment.

If you're not part of an existing environmental group, check out the list of members on the PPN websites. Find an environmental group that interests you and join them in their work. This way you can also get involved in the PPN!

Find your local PPN here.

PPN Spotlight


Environmental groups include An Taisce, Broadmeadow Community Garden, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, Portmarnock Sustainable Energy Community, Riverwood Biodiversity Group and more!

Add your group today!

Join Fingal PPN


Meet environmental groups such as Abbeyleix Bog Project, Mountmellick Environment Group, Irish Wildlife Trust, GIY Abbeyleix Community Garden and more!

Join one of these groups as an individual to get involved in your PPN, or add you group to the Network below.

Join Laois PPN


Roscommon PPN includes groups such as Roscommon Environmental Network, Plastic Free Roscommon, Cycle Up Club, Green Hub Gardening Club, Uí Maine Kingdom, Roscommon Transition Town and more!

Add your group to the PPN and join them in being a voice for the environment.

Join Roscommon PPN

Petitions & Surveys

Marine Protected Area Law

Add your name to call on Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Irish government to enact a strong marine protected area law without delay.

Please sign our petition today and share. >>> https://only.one/act/30x30-ireland

For the attention of Ireland's veterinary professionals

Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland kindly ask for just a few minutes of your time to complete the Wildlife Health Survey, which covers topics such as diagnosis, treatment, and observations related to the health of wild animals.

Find the survey here

Job Opportunities

Rediscovery Centre

Education Officer

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced Education Officers to join our team. Email your CV and cover letter illustrating how your skills and experience meet the requirements to [email protected], marked for the attention of Sarah Clear. The cover letter should be a maximum of 1 page.

Deadline 5pm 16th February.

More info here

Find out more about the work of IEN members

The Irish Environmental Network has 34 nationally active members, who work on a wide variety of environmental, biodiversity and sustainability issues.

You can read more about their work, get involved, or sign up to their newsletters to hear directly from them on their websites.

See all members here