Longford communities learn how to protect local waterways

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Longford communities learn how to protect local waterways

The Tidy Towns - Networking for Nature Event in the Longford Arms Hotel on Saturday, March 10.

Over sixty people representing Tidy Towns groups from Longford, Leitrim and Roscommon attended a Networking for Nature event organised jointly by Longford County Council and the Waters & Communities Office.

The day long event took place at the Longford Arms Hotel on Saturday, March 10.

In the photo are -  Sue Moles, Leah Comaskey (Voice Ireland), Karen Kennedy (Waters and Community Office), John Brannigan (Longford County Council), Elspeth Hall (Longford Beekeepers), Gary Brady (Longford County Council Environmental Officer), Sharon Eastwood (Tidy Towns adjudicator) and Enda Fields (Emyvale Tidy Towns and Emy & District Anglers). Photo: Michelle Ghee


The aim of the event was to bring people together in the region to share experiences and learn how communities can protect and enhance their local waters while also enhancing biodiversity as part of the National Tidy Towns Competition.


John Brannigan Director of Services with Longford County Council welcomed everyone and commended the Tidy Towns on the excellent work they do in their communities.


Gary Brady Environmental Awareness Officer with Longford County Council chaired the event and encouraged groups to network and chat about their work with neighbouring Tidy Towns Groups.


Elspeth Hall from Longford Beekeepers spoke about the importance of bees and the valuable services they provide and how Tidy Towns can support the declining bee population.


Karen Kennedy from the Waters & Communities Office highlighted some of the unique features of water catchments and our connections with drainage and why we should care.
She also identified practical ways for Tidy Towns groups to involve the wider community in awareness raising activities to help protect streams, rivers and lakes.
Tidy Towns Adjudicator Sharon Eastwood gave examples of interesting biodiversity projects undertaken by groups across the country.


Meanwhile Enda Fields from Emyvale Tidy Towns and Emy & District Anglers gave an outline of his group’s activities including river clean-ups, water and wildlife surveys, awareness raising and involving the wider community in their catchment activities.


Two parallel workshops in the afternoon led by Kieran Cummins and Sheevaun Thompson provided an opportunity for groups to interact and ask questions on how they can take action on controlling invasive species and what to include in an application for the Waters & Communities Award. Of course, there was plenty of note taking by eager groups!


Also on hand to offer support were Longford Community Resources Ltd,  Inland Fisheries Ireland, VOICE, Irish Wildlife Trust – Longford/Westmeath Branch, Longford Beekeepers, and Swift Conservation Ireland to provide advice on resources and funding available to Tidy Towns groups.


The day finished with a biodiversity walk and talk led by Sharon Eastwood along the River Camlin with input from Longford Tidy Towns members.

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