Celebrating our Living Earth in the Southeast of Ireland

The 10th Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science took place  from

18th - 25th May 2014

In 2015, the festival becomes the "Bealtaine Living Earth Festival" and will take place from May 16th-24th.

View Our 2014 Gallery Here


United Nations - Decade of Biodiversity

Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science: Celebrate our Living Earth runs this year from the 18th to the 25th of May. This is the 10th year of the Festival and we have provided a programme that is as diverse as our nearby biodiversity and showcases the best of the natural heritage of the Southeast (and beyond!). As always, we have included events to commemorate this year's International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd. This year's theme for Biodiversity day is Island Biodiversity. As a coastal region, the Southeast is ideally situated to explore just what it means to be an island and many of our events reflect this theme: coastal foraging, mosaic making and much more.

The festival is a unique partnership between visitor centres and environmental organisations in the south-east interested in promoting the pursuit of outdoor science and is particularly designed with young people in mind. Our partners include the City Council, County Council, Copper Coast Geopark, Waterford Institute of Technology Research Groups, ECO-UNESCO, National Museum of Ireland, Grow it Yourself, Tourin House, the Irish Wildlife Trust, Lismore Heritage Centre and a host of expert writers, nature experts and researchers. A comprehensive list of our partners is available from the sidebar.

Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science derives its name from the ancient Celtic celebration of the return of summer. This festival is all about celebrating late spring and early summer and the biological changes this brings to the world around us.

This is the 10th year of the festival and to date we have held hundreds of events introducing many thousands of students and members of the general public to the exemplary natural resources of the Southeast of Ireland. Events are wide-ranging and cover topics as diverse as earthquakes, Irish mammals, how to cook with sea-weed, river ecology as well as a look at reptiles, scorpions, insects and more with Dave’s Jungle. We are also offering participants the chance to learn how they can get involved with "citizen science" with the Herpetological Society of Ireland, Grow It Yourself and Mammals in a Sustainable Environment.

There also events for those whose interest in the outdoors stems from its relationship with art. Such events include: shoreside mosaic making and a botanical drawing workshop.

In 2010, Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science was chosen by The Guardian website as being one of the top ten world-wide events celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity. Since then, the festival has only become bigger and better! This year we are hosting  almost 40 events for the region!

A lot of people’s awareness of outdoor science comes from books or nature documentaries. Bealtaine offers a unique programme suitable for all ages to explore the great outdoors and learn about the science of the world around us! The festival is ideal for primary school tours, secondary ecology field trips, transition year modules and general public interest. Please find an event that suits your interests and come along! All events are free, but booking is required. Contact Eleanor Reade at 051 302037 or by e-mailing ereade@wit.ie.

The festival is co-ordinated by CALMAST, the leading centre for the promotion of science, maths, engineering and technology in Ireland. CALMAST attracts over 12,000 visitors annually to science related events in the region . We organise five festivals annually: Maths Week Ireland, The Robert Boyle Summer School, Robert Boyle Science Week, Engineering Week and Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science.

Financial support from Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Local Agenda 21 Plan) is gratefully acknowledged.