Material for School Session

Good Energies Alliance Ireland 2024

What is it?

The Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project funded by The Community Foudation for Ireland is set to study the biodiversity in Ballinaglera. With the help of ecologist Heather Bothwell, different habitats have been researched, identifying threats and actions. A Biodiversity Action Plan has been developed to raise awareness and to protect the local natural heritage.

Where is it?

The project is based in Ballinaglera. This area is extremely rich in biodiversity. In the study area you can find water, grass and woodland habitats. It encompasses part of the Leitrim Way, close to local heritage sites such as St. Hugh’s Well and Sweathouse but also the Yellow River banks and Lough Allen shoreline.

When is it?

Heather surveyed the study area during 2022. In March 2023 the Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project Action Plan was  published, and action will be taken during 2023 and 2024.

Who is part of it?

The project was funded be the Community Foundation for Ireland. This grant allowed Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) to contact Heather Bothwell as the project’s ecologist. The project was led by Carina Casthaneta and Ignacio Martínez Armas, part of the European Volunteers hosted by GEAI. They worked side by side with Heather on research and developed the events and social media campaigns related to the Project.

Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project Action Plan

PDF Document

Results of the ecological report

The main objective of this Action Plan was to develop an ecological report about Ballinaglera. During 2022, ecologist Heather Bothwell surveyed three different areas of the parish: Tobar Beo-Aoidh River (Sweathouse and St. Hugh’s Well), Yellow River (from Owenboy Bridge to Lough Allen) and Fahy townland (Lough Allen shores and Lough Yugan).

Written by Heather Bothwell

Actions

After looking at the results and the context, some Actions can be carried out. Two tables have been developed. One refers to the Actions that GEAI is expected to do in the following months with the help of some stakeholders. The other one collects proposed Actions that interested parties can carry out.

Written by Heather Bothwell and Ignacio Martínez Armas

State of biodiversity in Ireland

This part of the Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project Action Plan takes a look a the state of biodiversity in Ireland. Loss of biodiversity is the global trend, and Ireland is not an exception. This section examines what biodiversity means and when a species is considered threatened. Afterwards, we will be looking at the Irish situation and which are the main threats.

Written by Ignacio Martínez Armas

Policy Context

As part of the Action Plan, a revision of biodiversity’s policies was made. This was done by dividing the topic in three sections. First, there is a revision of Irish Legislation. Afterwards, there are EU directives and other international policies. And lastly, there is a small discussion on the current debates (beginning of 2023).

Written by Ignacio Martínez Armas

Government Agricultural Schemes 2023

This part of the Biodiversity Project is intended to be a guide of the main Schemes farmers have to enhance biodiversity. We examine the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS), the voluntary Eco-Scheme and the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS). The Common Agriculture Policy 2023-2027 (CAP) and the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) will be also explained.

Written by Carina Filipa da Silva Castanheta

State of biodiversity in Co. Leitrim

This part of the Biodiversity Project is intended to be a guide of the main Schemes farmers have to enhance biodiversity. We examine the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS), the voluntary Eco-Scheme and the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS). The Common Agriculture Policy 2023-2027 (CAP) and the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) will also be explained.

Written by Ignacio Martínez Armas

Our vision for Ballinaglera

Ballinaglera is a privileged place. Surrounded and protected by the mountains to the East and Lough Allen to the West. A vision is not a list of short or mid-term objectives, but a long-term perspective that works as a cornerstone to develop the objectives presented in the Ballinaglera Biodiversity Project Action Plan.

Written by Ignacio Martínez Armas

Key partners

This project was possible thanks to the financial support provided by Community Foundation Ireland. Good Energies Alliance Ireland and the European volunteers have led this project. Heather Bothwell has been the consultant ecologist throughout the project. Other partners have collaborated with us in order to develop the project and its actions.

Written by Carina Filipa da Silva Castanheta