Participating Groups

 

Calmast gratefully acknowledges the time, support and effort of the following partner groups located in the South East and throughout the country:

 

Partner Centres for Bealtaine 2013

Further Information on Partner Centres



Waterford City Council

Waterford City Council's Ella Ryan explaining biodiveristy at Kilbarry Nature Park on Biodiversity Day May 22nd

Waterford City Council lead a workshop for primary level students in Kilbarry Nature Park with the City Council’s Environmental Awareness Officer, Ella Ryan. The nature park is a reclaimed dump that features reconstructed wetland habitats- reedswamps, freshwater marshes, wet grassland and scrub woodland. All of these habitats play host to a variety of important species of conservation worth- dragonfly, newts, otters and much more. This wetland is the only remaining wetland of its type within the vicinity of the City. As part of Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science, Ella Ryan took students on a tour of the park and wetland, focusing on several of the common species that occur here. This tour culminated in an active scavenger hunt, allowing students to put into practise what they had learned throughout the walk (www.waterfordcity.ie)

 

Waterford County Council

Glynn Anderson of the Botanical Gardens discussing Irish Birds and their folklore at Dungarvan Public Library, organised by Waterford County Council

 

Waterford County Council hosted several events as part of Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science. Paul Carroll is Scientific Officer at Waterford County Council and hosted a workshop and tour of Dunhill Integrated Constructed Wetland. This constructed wetland acts as a vital filter for the waste products of the nearby Dunhill Ecopark and GAA grounds. Paul discussed with students the ways of monitoring the health of such wetlands and showed them the various invertebrates that make up the ecological communities of this environment. Bernadette Guest, Waterford County Council’s Heritage Officer arranged a fascinating talk by The Botanic Garden’s Glynn Anderson on the mythology, folklore and etymology of Irish bird species. This talk explored the Irish relationship with our major bird species and the fascinating names of birds as Gaeilge (www.waterfordcoco.ie).

 

Mammals in a Sustainable Environment

Andrew Harrington (MISE) leading his evening mammal walk group on Biodiversity Day 2013

Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE) is a collaboration between Welsh and Irish research groups (Waterford Institute of Technology), focusing on the development of research and monitoring of small and medium sized mammals in ecosystems. The group also seeks to foster public involvement and awareness of the issues surrounding small mammal monitoring and conservation. Their research takes place in a variety of locales, including Wales, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford, Dublin and Wicklow. The group encourages members of the public to report sightings of mammals and to participate in various collaborative science projects such as scat collections, hair tube surveys and small mammal feeding stations. As part of the public outreach remit of MISE, Waterford County Council’s Andrew Harrington who is an experienced field ecologist discussed with a crowd of over 80 the various methods of tracking and monitoring Irish mammals. This trail was held as part of the celebrations marking International Day for Biological Diversity. This walk lead participants through Faithlegg Woods and finished with a bat detecting workshop (www.miseproject.ie).

 

National Museum of Ireland- Skullduggery!

Catherine McGuinness and Skullduggery!

 

Skullduggery! This workshop, hosted by the National Museum of Ireland’s Catherine McGuinness. Catherine is an Education Assistant at the Museum and develops programmes based on ecology, science and stewardship. She has developed several successful courses with the Museum including Saturday Morning Programmes for the Centre for Talented Youth. Skullduggery! Is an interactive workshop focusing on the morphology and diversity of mammalian skulls. It looks at the different modes of life utilised by mammals with differently shaped skulls- carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. This workshop stokes the imagination of the children involved and leads to all sorts of curiosities and questions developing- vital for discussion back at the classroom (www.museum.ie).

 

T-Bay Surf, Eco-Centre and Café

Grace O Sullivan discussing the diversity of life at Kilfarrasy Strand, Tuesday 22nd

 

T-Bay Surf, Eco Centre & Café is a surf school founded on the principles of sustainability and ecological awareness. Situated on the strand at Tramore, this eco-centre is nestled in the middle of 4 ecological zones and nationally designated area of protection- these important areas include the local Dune System, Rockpools, the beach environment and an intertidal lagoon. As part of the celebrations for Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science, Grace O Sullivan hosted several eco-tours of Tramore Bay and nearby shores throughout the week. These tours focused on all aspects of the flora and fauna of the respective habitats and informed both students and members of the general public about the diversity of life present in their local habitats. Rachel Smith, in association with the Eco Centre hosted a well-attended sea-shore art activity. This allowed participants to explore beautiful Tramore strand and use natural materials to craft seaside art (www.tbaysurf.com).

 

Copper Coast Geopark

Students getting ready to learn about Our Dynamic Earth at the Copper Coast Geopark May 20th

 

Copper Coast Geopark is a stretch of scenic coastline in Southeast Waterford. It incorporates several important geological strands where the exposed geology speaks of the historic mining history of the coastline. In 2001 these coastlines were declared a European Geopark and in 2004 a UNESCO Global Geopark, marking this Irish coastline as an internationally important resource for the teaching of geology. This diverse area contains multiple records of volcanism from the Palaeozoic era as well as showing prominent marks from the last ice-age. This dynamic landscape is the focus of several Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science events run by the Geopark. As part of the week, workshops were run for adults and children examining “Our Dynamic Earth,” with Tina Keating. The week also saw the Geopark examining the relationship between art and science with Sinéad Driver crafting a giant mosaic from natural materials on the coast at Annestown (www.coppercoastgeopark.com).

 

Lismore Heritage Centre

3rd and 4th class from Bunscoil Bothar na Naomh enjoying the Maths Trail (and the sun!) at Lismore Heritage Centre

Lismore Heritage Centre run events all year round focusing on the rich historical, natural and cultural heritage of Lismore and its surrounding environs. As part of Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science, Alice O Donoghue ran a fun maths trail with several groups of students from throughout the southeast. These maths trails took in the beautiful surroundings of the park in Lismore and allowed students to learn about the maths of nature- shapes, colours and patterns that occur in nature that have a mathematical basis (www.discoverlismore.com).

 

JFK Arboretum (Office of Public Works)

 

JFK Arboretum is a plant collection of international renown. Located 12 km to the South of New Ross it covers over 250 hectares. The arboretum is managed by the Office of Public Works and is dedicated to the memory of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It is specially designed to incorporate plant and tree species from all of the temperate regions of the world, allowing visitors to marvel at global plant biodiversity in their own region. JFK Arboretum provide several events for Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science: Dr Nick McCarthy of Waterford Institute of Technology uses the grounds to demonstrate the variety and type of plants and animals that can occur in plantation forestry. The staff of the arboretum provided guided walks which interpret the many different types of tree and habitat that occur within the park. Located in the park is a visitor centre, which throughout Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science screens several popular environmentally themed movies, such as the Oscar winning “The Man Who Planted Trees.”

 

Fascination of Plants Day

Learning the principles of botanical drawing on Fascination of Plants Day with Lynn Stringer

 

Fascination of Plants Day is an initiative designed by the European Plant Science Organisation to further the goals of scientific research in plants, as well as fostering general appreciation for the utility and importance of plants by the general public. As part of this day, Waterford Institute of Technology hosted a macro-photography and botanical drawing session with WIT’s own Cara Daly and noted botanical artist Lynn Stringer. Lynn is an internationally renowned botanical artist who has exhibited at Dublin Art Fair, Powerscourt Flower Show and many more. She is also published in the noteworthy “Curtis Botanical Magazine” with several illustrations featuring. The day saw Lynn and many others share their advanced knowledge of combining artistry and science to great effect (www.plantday12.eu/).

 

The Sea Gardener

The Sea Gardener Marie Power explaining the different ways to use Irish seaweeds in delicious and healthy recipes

The Sea Gardener is Marie Power, author and seaweed specialist. Marie began foraging for seaweed as a child, but professionally began pursuing this fascinating outlet in 2007 with the first official seaweed tasting workshop. This burgeoning interest developed into the idea for a book and so in 2012, her book “The Sea Garden,” saw publication. This handbook is an invaluable guide for surveying seaweeds and incorporating these algae into healthy cooking. As part of Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science, Marie showed a group at Kilfarrrasy strand the main edible seaweeds and shared a seaweed picnic of treats with the participants (www.theseagardener.ie).

 

The Wonderful World of Feathers with Eric Dempsey

Eric Dempsey fascinating students of the Southeast with bird facts

Wonderful World of Feathers. This fascinating lecture, aimed at primary school children by renowned birder, author, broadcast journalist and specialist Eric Dempsey enthralled hundreds of children attending his talk at Waterford Institute of Technology. The show, designed to appeal to all ages investigated the role that bird feathers play in helping them circumnavigate the globe, insulate themselves against harsh temperatures and put on dazzling mating displays. Eric is Ireland’s leading professional bird guide and provides birdwatching tours, talks and much more. He is also an integral team member of the popular “Mooney” show on RTÉ Radio 1 and has made several TV appearances. He is also a listed “Heritage Specialist,” working with students of all levels (www.birdsireland.com).

 

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