Connecting People + Nature in Wicklow 2019


Spring/ Summer is a great time for getting outdoors and the Heritage Office is working with groups throughout the county to provide opportunities to  connect people with nature, to communicate the importance of biodiversity and to motivate us all to play a part in protecting it.

Dates For Your Diary

Wicklow Community Swift Workshops

Birdwatch Ireland with support from Wicklow Heritage Office are co-ordinating acounty swift survey: come along to find out more about this fascinating Summer visitor to towns and villages all over Wicklow, learn how you as an individual, a school or other group  can participate in our survey and practical actions that will  help this bird. Contact: two workshops taking place as follows, all welcome, no booking needed;

Thursday 9th May: Swift Talk at Martello Hotel, Bray Seafront 7.30pm followed by a guided walk

Friday 10th May: Swift Talk at Baltinglass Courthouse 7.00 pm followed by a guided walk.

Come along to find out how you can get involved. For  more information or to report sightings email or call Ricky Whelan (BirdWatch Ireland Project Officer) or on 0857832545.


Sunday 12 May: Dawn Chorus Day!

Arise with the birds to experience one of nature’s greatest performances. Join Birdwatch Ireland for a walk in East Coast Nature Reserve. Meet at front entrance on Sea Road, Newcastle, at 4.30AM. Contact:

National Biodiversity Week takes place 18th – 26th May for full details of all events happening in Wicklow or to register your event see


Wed 22nd  May: ‘Dippers, Fishers and Wags birds of the Avonmore River’.

A talk by Oran O Sullivan on a Heritage Plan project to survey water birds and other wildlife associated with the bridges of the Avonmore water catchment.  Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh 7.00 pm. FREE, no booking needed.

Saturday 15th June is Crinniu na nÓg:

With support from the Creative Ireland Programme we have youth focussed events happening all over county Wicklow. Check for full programme at end of May.  For budding nature lovers we are delighted to announce two  Forest Schools at Hollywood Village and at Deputy’s Pass, Glenealy.  Teaming up with leaders from  Earthforce and Nature Matters ,  children (ages 5-12) participate in  a selection of activities involving  nature games, crafts using natural materials, woodcraft den-building, rope making  and more. There will be two Forest School sessions at each venue, 11-1 am and 2-4 pm. FREE events but numbers for each session are limited.  Booking is essential and will be available from the end of May. Contact for any queries

 21st – 23rd June ‘Shaking The Bog’ Nature Writing Festival @ Glencree Peace & Reconciliation Centre.  ‘Save the date’ Details TBC. A first for Wicklow, this festival promises a unique mix of talks, readings, workshops, indoor and outdoor events all set in the stunning backdrop of Glencree.  The Heritage Office is delighted to support outdoor workshops on the Sunday.


Weekends @ East Coast Nature Reserve

We have teamed up with Birdwatch Ireland’s East Coast Reserve  to bring you a monthly programme of weekend events.  Immerse yourself in the changing seasons at this important wetland complex. All events are aimed at families and the general public and are free to attend with no need to book. Please bring clothing suitable for the conditions as well as footwear suitable for uneven paths and gentle inclines.

June  Saturday 15th: Sounds , Sights & Sunprints  of the Woodland – 11am-2pm. Especially for Crinniu na nÓg, explore the raised boardwalks and woodland rides of the  Reserve to find out more about our native tree species and woodland wildlife. Gather natural materials and  make Sunprints;  by laying natural objects on top of special photographic paper we can capture the moment to  make ‘cameraless’ photographs. Wet woodlands such as this were once common along the Murrough Wetlands complex but are now a rarity. Hiking boots or wellies advised, no booking required, suitable for families.

Sunday 14th July: Nocturnal Visitors – Bats & Moths  – 9.00-11.00 PM Join a guided walk of the Reserve to discover bats and moths. Using bat detectors, our site warden and volunteers will reveal a hidden, nocturnal world. We will have a moth sheet set up to exhibit some of the many beautiful species which can be found on the reserve.

Sunday 11th August:   Discover the Reserve – Butterfly Walk & Seed Bomb Workshop. 11am-2 pm. We will head into Blackditch Wood armed with identification guides and recording sheets in search of the butterflies and other wildlife that call the reserve home. After the walk you will have the chance to make your own Seed Bomb filled with Irish wildflowers, brilliant for bees, butterflies, birds, moths and other precious pollinators.

Sunday 8th September  Spectacle of Migration – Swifts, Swallows & Martins. 11.00am -1.00pm.As our summer visitors prepare for the long journey south we will explore the spectacle of migration. After a safari around the reserve looking for summer migrants you will have a chance to  make your own paper bird kite.

Sunday 13th October Birds on Feeders – Garden Bird Workshop. 11.00am – 1.00pm. Learn how to attract birds into your garden this winter ahead of  BirdWatch Ireland’s annual Garden Bird Survey. We will be giving bird tips, exploring the reserve and you will have the chance to make your own Apple Feeder and Fruit Hoop Feeder!

Sunday 17th November Winter Migrants – Waterfowl. 11.00am – 1.00pm.Guided walk in search of winter migrants. The reserve is an important site for wildfowl such as Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, and Black-tailed Godwit.

Sunday 15th December: Festive Wildlife Walk & Wreath Making Workshop. 11.00am – 1.00pm. Join a festive walk around the reserve, and celebrate the return of the winter migrants. After a short jaunt you will have the chance to make a winter wreath. All materials are sustainably sourced from the site and the wreaths will be ready for the compost heap in the New Year.


Meet the Pollinators

Did you know that we have 99 different bee species,  one Honeybee, 21 Bumblebees, and 77 solitary bee species. Together they pollinate our flowers hedgerows, trees, and our food crops. Without them we could not survive! Despite their importance pollinators are under threat from habitat loss, insensitive management and pesticide use. There are small things that we all can do that will make a huge difference, these include;

Reduce mowing

Let dandelions and clover bloom

Allow hedgerows to flower

Reduce pesticide use

Plant pollinator-friendly plants.

If your group is managing an open space, verge or other area for pollinators, tell others by logging your actions online  at . If you want to let people  know that you haven’t just forgotten to mow contact for a ‘Managed for Wildlife Sign’,  and if you are a Tidy Towns group consider entering the Lets Get Buzzing  Local Authority Pollinator Award  in the Tidy Towns competition to be in with a chance of a cash reward all your efforts.  For more information watch ‘Blooming Bees’  a short animation produced by the Heritage Office in association with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, view here

Wicklow Wildlife Resources

The following publications are available free of charge from the Heritage Office and are suitable for home, office or school.  Posters – Wildlife in Wicklow’s gardens ,  Biodiversity of county Wicklow. Brochures – Wicklow’ Mountain Wilderness, Wicklow’s Wild Coastline, Woodlands of Wicklow. Please drop a e mail to to request your copy.

and finally…. dont forget to

Share Your Wicklow Wildlife Stories

We are always keen to record and share your stories of Wicklow with our global audience. Visit our online community heritage archive to find out more about Wicklow’s rich heritage, upcoming events and activities and to share your articles, photos, videos, poems, school projects, short films, audio recordings, artwork and more. In celebration of National Biodiversity Week we invite you to log on and share on these pages!




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