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Press Release: Biodiversity Week 19-28 May

Biodiversity Week 19-28 
- Variety of free events planned across the County for National Biodiversity Week 2023
Do you know your Swifts from your Swallows? Your Pipistrelles from your Daubentons? Or are you simply wondering what Biodiversity means? – Whatever your level of knowledge there really is something to grab everyone’s interest this Biodiversity Week.
Biodiversity is the term used to describe the variety of life on Earth. It includes humans. Biodiversity is essential for sustaining the ecosystems that provide us with food, clean water, fuel, health, and other services we take for granted in our everyday life.
Biodiversity Week takes place from Friday 19 May to Sunday 28 May and aims to engage the public in a range of nature-related activities, from bat walks, to dusk choruses, plant identification events and much more.
The Week kicks off on Friday 19 with a Swift Walk in Mullingar led by Richella Duggan of BirdWatch Ireland Westmeath Branch. Later that evening the Midlands Bat Group will lead a Bat Walk in the grounds of Tullynally Castle. A Dusk Chorus walk is planned in Ardan Wood, near Kilbeggan on Saturday 20 (booking is required or this event). Biodiversity in Action Workshops are planned for Saturday 20 in Belvedere and Saturday 27 in Athlone. These workshops will be facilitated by Anna Browne, flower farmer and sustainable educator and registration is essential. Cloncrow Bog near Tyllrellspass is hosting a series of nature walks and citizen science demonstrations on Saturday 27 May.
There will be events in Mullingar and Athlone Libraries during the Week too. These include a photographic exhibition of Starling Murmurations in Mullingar Library. The Exhibition, which includes a selection of photographs taken by John McCauley and Rodney Clery, will be on display all week and will be officially launched on Thursday 25 May at 6pm by Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland. Niall is a regular contributor to Mooney Goes Wild on RTÉ Radio One and co-presents the In Your Nature Podcast series with Ricky Whelan. On Tuesday 23 May Ornithologist Owen Murphy will give an illustrated talk in Athlone Library on ‘the Conservation of Ground Nesting Birds’. Mullingar Library will host researcher Amy Haigh on Saturday morning 27 May. Amy will give an illustrated talk on 'How hedgehogs live up to their name, and other insights into the lives of Irish mammals'.
For full details of what’s on across the County during Biodiversity Week check out https://biodiversityweek.ie/events-calendar/ or follow Westmeath Heritage on social media.
Also aligned with Biodiversity Week are the Annual Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition, the Backyard Bioblitz and the Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt. For details see: www.biodiversityweek.ie
These initiatives are coordinated by the Irish Environmental Network, funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and supported by the Heritage Council’s network.
Photograph: Starling Murmuration by John McCauley

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 15/05/2023