Monday, 23 November 2015

November 15th - Birdwatching Bull Island

On Sunday November 15th IWT Dublin Branch went birdwatching on Bull Island, led by Sean our ever knowledgable guide. Despite the blustery weather and works to the sea wall at the causeway (don't mention the war!), the branch got to see quite a few birds. There were the pale bellied Brent geese, mallard, shelducks, shovellers, teal and wigeon, along with little egrets, curlews, herons and of course some hooded crows. An interesting fact that Sean shared is that there will always be lots of birds where streams come out into the sea, because believe it or not, the birds like to wash the salt off their feathers. So, at the point where the Naniken river comes out into the lagoon, there were indeed lots of birds gathered. Altogether an enlightening afternoon.  Photos courtesy of Brendan and Stephen.

Brent Geese


Monday, 9 November 2015

Green Drinks 3rd November - Community Energy

The November Green Drinks, on Tuesday, November the 3rd, saw Kate Ruddock of Friends of the Earth Ireland talking on Community energy - how small local community groups can together use energy and resources most efficiently, and in a way that does least ecological damage. This has been slow to take off in Ireland compared to other countries, for various reasons, including a difficulty in selling excess energy onto the national grid. However, with enough determination, communities can achieve successful projects that provide them with self sufficiency in clean renewable energy.  

One of the most hopeful projects is happening on the Aran Islands, where the islanders are aiming to make the islands completely self sufficient in energy using wind power by 2022. Another place where this has been done is in Templederry, Co. Tipperary where the Templederry Community Group have constructed a windfarm.

The government is also going to introduce a White Paper for a scheme to allow local communities to form co-ops and invest in windfarms. It is hoped that this will chart a way forward for local communities and also help to lay to rest some of the controversies that have sprung up around windfarms in recent times. Progress towards renewables is happening, even if the pace of change is often frustratingly slow.