This month in our local news section we have hedge planting in Leitrim, informative AGMs in Wicklow as well as meeting the Wicklow Council Climate Team, and Westmeath announcing their Biodiversity Action Plan which is now open for input.

I'd like to draw your attention to an item that is particularly close to my heart: a call to help save our hedgerows by adding your name to an open letter which calls for action to prevent the spread of an imported disease which affects our beloved Hawthorn trees. Please spread the word, sign the letter, and learn more about Fireblight so you can spot any signs of it in your area.

Settle in and read about the Flora of Old Walls with a new position paper from Dublin Naturalists Field Club. This is a fascinating look at the habitat that our stone walls provide to some of our most threatened flora. There are also funding, volunteer and job opportunities, as well as a host of events, campaigns and announcements.

All the best,



Local News

  • Restoring Hedge Banks in Leitrim
  • Leitrim Environmental Network events and newsletter
  • Meet the Climate and Environment Team in Wicklow County Council
  • West Wicklow Environmental Network - AGM, Invasive Species, Brown Bin Updates
  • Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan


  • See 'Quick Guide to Events'

News and Announcements

  • The Big Toy Swap
  • Local Food Policy Campaign
  • Climate Competition for Community Groups
  • More Circular Economy News
  • Public Participation Networks. Spotlight on Galway City, Louth, Wicklow


  • Flora of Old Walls

Surveys & Petitions

  • Help Save Our Hawthorn Trees
  • Marine Protected Area Law

Funding Opportunities

  • Bat Conservation Ireland Small Grants Scheme now open for Applications
  • Funding available now for heritage projects

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Helping Bats in Kerry

Job Opportunities

  • Rediscovery Centre


  • Find out more about IEN member groups

Quick Guide to Events


  • 8th, 12th, 19th, 26th @ 7pm: Rights of Nature Film Screening - Galway
  • 9th @ 10am: Repair Cafe at Rediscovery Centre - Dublin
  • 11th @ 10.30am: Kayak and Clean Up - Cavan
  • 23rd @ 11am: Earth Day: Water Workshop for Kids - Dublin
  • 23rd @ 8.30pm: Earth Hour - At home
  • 29th @ 10am (& the last Friday of each month): Boyne Estuary Clean Up - Meath


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

Local News

Restoring Hedge Banks in Leitrim

Woodlands of Ireland, with help from Leitrim Environmental Network members,Mountain Meitheal Northwest and Carrick-On-Shannon Ash Tree Conservation Project planted native tree species into a restored hedge bank we restocked a restored hedgebank in Ballinaglera, Co Leitrim


As part of National Tree week, Woodlands of Ireland hosted a small native tree planting event involving restocking a restored hedgebank with native tree species in Ballinaglera, Co. Leitrim. The project is a culmination of a collaboration with Mountain Meitheal Northwest, Leitrim Development Company, and The Heritage Council.

The restored hedge bank which was previously washed away by flash flooding, on a steep track a number of years ago had been rebuilt behind a low barrier of woven hazel and cleft oak stakes in order to reduce the risk of a new landslide. This has been installed in phases since Heritage Week 2022 through to the present.

A new hedge of indigenous genetic stock was planted on the bank by members of Mountain Meitheal Northwest, Carrick on Shannon Ash Tree Conservation Project and Woodlands of Ireland on March 6th 2024. The native species included Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Holly, Hazel, Willow, Rowan, Oak, Elm, Dog Rose and Crab Apple."



Leitrim Environmental Network Events and Newsletter

Leitrim Environmental Network are creating an information resource of environmental related county events, online webinars for members and the general public to attend if interested. For more information Click to view the calendar


We are also currently developing a general update newsletter to get this information and project updates for 2024 directly to you. If you would like to be added to that newsletter, you can subscribe HERE.

Meet the Climate and Environment Team in Wicklow County Council

March 23rd

10.30am - 12 noon

Location: An Tairseach Organic Farm and Ecology Centre, Wicklow Town

Meet the Team, hear about the plans, contribute to the discussion on climate and environment in our community and county.

Reserve your place: [email protected] or 086 048 7434

Invasive Species and Brown Bin Rollout

AGM: West Wicklow Environmental Network held their AGM in Hollywood on 19th February, 2024. It was a very successful event. The new committee is looking forward to a productive year for the Network.

The final item on the agenda was a group discussion with input from members about issues of interest to them and about the future activities of WWEN. The Green Party TD, Steven Matthews, was present at the meeting. He took notes of some of the issues raised and he has since been in touch with WWEN with the following up to date information. Although reference is made to West Wicklow the information is broadly relevant.

Invasive species

Invasive species should be reported for inclusion on the National Invasive Species Database using this form https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/invasives#7/53.455/-8.016 or by using the Biodiversity Data Capture app (available for iPhone and android).

In Co. Wicklow, if you spot an invasive species near a roadside or footpath you should contact [email protected], if possible including a map pin drop and a photo. 

The website invasives.ie includes some handy identification guides. 

Brown bins and their rollout

New legislation under the national waste policy A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy means that every household in Ireland will be supplied with a brown bin. 

Waste providers are obliged to supply all household customers with a food waste collection service. 

Households not availing of a food waste service are required to notify their collector in writing, with details of how their food waste is managed. 

Waste collectors are also required to supply a garden waste service between March and October. 

The IWMA, a company trade association has said that the providers will contact customers. Brown bins are being rolled out on a phased basis. 

If you have not been contacted yet Wicklow County Council’s advice is to contact your waste provider to request a bin.


If you request a brown bin and they refuse you service you are advised to email the Waste section at [email protected]. Please include the service provider contacted, the address of the property and the reason for refusal. They will follow up with the waste provider. 

Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan

A new Biodiversity Action Plan is being prepared for Westmeath in partnership with the Heritage Council. The Plan will set out Westmeath County Council’s statement of intent in relation to the natural heritage and biodiversity of the County. It will include a number of actions to ensure effective conservation of our natural heritage and will raise awareness of biodiversity in partnership with local communities over the next six years.

The Council invite you to get involved and help shape the content of the Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan. We want to hear your views on what aspects of biodiversity you want to see celebrated and conserved in the plan and what issues are important to you.


To stimulate interest and encourage public participation at this stage in the plan process, an Issues Paper has been prepared which sets out the key biodiversity issues relating to Westmeath. It is intended that the Issues Paper will encourage discussion and involvement from the public in the preparation of the Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan.


The Issues Paper is available for inspection at the following location: Online at: Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan 2024-2030 | Westmeath County Council (westmeathcoco.ie)


Submissions or observations with respect to the Issues Papers or content of the Biodiversity Action Plan may be made no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 17 April 2024 and must include the full name and address of the person(s) making the submission or observation and where relevant, the body or organisation represented.

Submissions or observations should be in ONE medium only i.e. online or hard copy and made as follows:



Rights of Nature Film Screenings

Galway - 7pm - Multiple locations

8th March - An Gáirdín Ecology Center, Portumna

12th March - The Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack, Loughrea

19th March - Galway Atlantaquaria, Galway City

26th March - Brigit's Garden in Roscahill, Oughterard

One Future Galway and the Center for Environmental Living and Training are delighted to present 4 screenings of the ENJI film on the 'Rights of Nature' taking place in 4 locations across Galway during March.


This Rights of Nature film is a short but powerful film shedding light on an emergent and transformative social movement in an area which is growing in strength locally and globally in order to address our biodiversity and climate challenges, as 'Rights of Nature offers us a way of re-thinking our relationship with nature – from one of dominance to one of sharing, caring, respect and interdependency.'

There will be refreshments and a raffle also.

Everyone is Welcome. 

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

Kayak and Clean-Up

March 11th - 10.30am


GREEN FOUNDATION IRELAND: We will be collaborating with Friends of Castle Lake to have a kayak and clean-up of Castle Lake in Bailieborough, County Cavan on MONDAY 11 MARCH 2024 from 10:30am onwards. Please note that there is no need to book for this event – you can just turn up.

More information 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

Earth Hour

March 23rd - 8.30 to 9.30pm

At Home

Join the Biggest Hour for Earth by spending 60 minutes doing something - anything - positive for our one shared home.

Learn more about the issues & solutions

Earth Hour for Youth


Community Resources: Engage your community

This year the Earth Hour is March 23 8.30 to 9.30 PM however its a symbolic hour and can be undertaken when the time best suits you.

Boyne Estuary Clean Up

March 29th - 10am & Last Friday of each month


Join us on the last Friday of every month at 10am to preserve and protect this special area of conservation.

Created by the goddess Boann and home to the Salmon of Knowledge, as the beautiful Boyne River joins the sea she leaves a wildlife rich inter-tidal habitat of salt marshes and mud flats which are home to otters, migratory and resident birds such as brent geese, redshank, shelduck and many more.


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

New Project: The Big Toy Swap!

Children love their toys, and their planet. They don’t want one to pollute the other - but toys are the world’s most plastic-intensive industry, producing significant amounts of both CO2 and plastic waste. So Jiminy Eco Toys and the Rediscovery Centre have joined forces to empower kids to team-up and take action through the Big Toy Swap!

As part of the Big Toy Swap, Jiminy and the Rediscovery Centre will conduct 100 fun, interactive workshops for primary schools and youth groups across Ireland. When groups sign-up to their Big Toy Swap Workshops, they commit to hosting a Big Toy Swap in their school or community space on 5th June, joining schools and groups all across the country in the largest sustainable toy festival ever seen!

Schools will be equipped with comprehensive resources to host their own “Big Toy Swap’’, including how-to guides on toy swap and repair, event organisation, and curriculum integration, plus practical resources like printable posters and images/blurbs for school newsletters.

The goal of the Big Toy Swap is to provide a fun and sustainable way for children and families to refresh their toy collections without spending money on new toys, and at the same time to reduce waste by giving unwanted toys a new home.

If you're not eligible for a workshop, but would like to run your own Big Toy Swap in your community or workplace, contact [email protected] for your own Big Toy Swap guide!

More info

Local Food Policy Campaign

Talamh Beo are happy to announce the launch of their Local Food Policy Campaign!

Talamh Beo have developed a set of proposals for increasing the production, distribution and consumption of food produced in Ireland which are outlined in their document "A Local Food Policy Framework".

As an organisation, Talamh Beo advocates for policies that support the growth of vibrant local food systems; where farmers can provide nutritious, sustainably produced food to their localities, all people have affordable access to food produced in their own locality and where food and farming benefits local communities and revitalises economies. Local food systems strengthen the link between people and the food they eat and can give them them a greater appreciation of the place, ecosystem and soil in which it is produced - as well as of the farmers and workers who produce it.

Talamh Beo are calling for institutional recognition for Local Food Producers as well as a series of supports including financial incentives, local food credits, training and land access initiatives and much more. You can read the full policy on their website.

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

More Circular Economy News

As we step into the third month of 2024, the Rediscovery Centre are thrilled to present the latest edition of their monthly newsletter. Every month, the Rediscovery Centre compiles exciting updates, innovations and circular solutions from Ireland and around the globe, your go-to source for staying informed and inspired.

Read the full newsletter 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

Galway City

Environmental groups include An Mheitheal Rothar, Friends of Merlin Woods, Galway Energy Co Operative, Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden, Galway Environmental Network and more!

Add your group today!

Join Galway City PPN


Meet environmental groups such as Louth Nature Trust, County Louth Beekeeping Association, Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community, Louth Barn Owl Project 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 Louth PPN


Wicklow PPN includes groups such as West Wicklow Environmental Network, ReWild Wicklow, Brittas Bay Coastcare Group, Knockree Nature Conservation Group, Glenmalure Rural Energy Group and more!

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

Join Wicklow PPN


Flora of Old Walls

Position Paper from Dublin Naturalists Field Club

The Dublin Naturalist’s Field Club (DNFC) has become increasingly concerned about the loss of natural habitats, sites of interest and their associated species in Ireland. We have decided to help address this decline through the establishment of a Conservation Sub-committee and the production of a series of position papers that turn a spotlight on specific areas of conservation concern.

Our first position paper, produced in 2021, highlighted the case against commercial wildflower seed mixes and their deleterious impacts on the native flora and on indigenous genetic pools. 

Our second position paper deals with the threats to the flora of old walls, which often act as refugia for plant species whose natural habitats have come under detrimental pressures in the modern landscape.

Read Protecting the Threatened Flora of Old Walls here

Read The Case Against "Wildflower" Seed Mixtures here

Petitions & Surveys

Help save our Hawthorn Trees!

We need your help! Please sign our open letter calling for urgent government action on the danger of Fireblight to Ireland's hedgerows. This disease is carried on imported trees and infects Hawthorn, which must then be destroyed as there is no cure.

Learn more about Fireblight and sign the Letter here

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

Funding Opportunities

Bat Conservation Ireland Small Grants Scheme

now open for Applications

Bat Conservation Ireland are delighted to announce the opening of the application process for our Small Grants Scheme for 2024!

There are 4 funding streams available for bat-related research, conservation and events in Ireland for 2024 as follows:

  • Funding for Bat Groups affiliated to Bat Conservation Ireland;
  • Funding for bat education events (to be carried out in line with any public health restrictions/guidelines in place at the time);
  • Irish-based bat research; and
  • Carrying out bat conservation work.

Deadline: 5pm March 16th

More information here

Funding available now for heritage projects

The Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme is now open for applications

The Heritage Council is now accepting applications from voluntary or community groups and not for profit non-governmental organisations around the country for its Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2024. All relevant information is available from the Heritage Council’s website here.

Deadline: 5pm March 25th

Volunteer Opportunities

Helping Bats in Kerry

Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) is seeking help from volunteers this summer to count lesser horseshoe bats emerging from its Kerry reserves. Fourteen emergence counts will take place between the end of May to the beginning of July as part of the National Monitoring Programme for this species, which is led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

VWT will run a special training event about this volunteering opportunity in Kenmare on Saturday April 20th. Please email the Trust’s Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer, Laura, at [email protected] for more information.

Find out more here

Job Opportunities


Part-time Communications and Operations Facilitator

Deadline COB Tuesday March 12th

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