The South Carlow Drummin Bog Project is getting substantial support from the Irish Community Wetlands Forum (CWF) – a umbrella organisation that includes 20 member organisations. The Community Wetlands Forum offers a ‘network for community wetland groups to share knowledge, ideas, research and best practice.’
The Drummin Bog committee was therefore delighted to host the recent Community Wetlands Forum meeting on Wednesday 26 September 2018 at the community hall at Drummond, Co. Carlow.
The Drummin bog committee gained an overview of the CWF activities, as Chris Uys, CWF Development Officer, gave an informative presentation. It was heartening to hear about the developed, inclusive community outreach that the CWF has fostered in so many other counties already, see the summary graphic below. People may wish to look at the new CWF Strategic Plan 2017-2020 here
Given that the Drummin Bog Project has initiated some community art projects already, Chris also shared news of an innovative art performance team working recently at Birr Castle – “Mary Ward’s Amazing World of Wonder“ highlights the flora and fauna of the Irish Peatlands, women in science, the historical context and, through the associated talks and workshops, environmental and conservation issues inherent with the bog and insect populations”. One of their eco-community art projects can be seen here
We were also delighted to hear from other CWF members who travelled from other counties to share their work. First, Denise O’Meara from Waterford IT talked about her passion for community science work. She is a biologist working on longterm monitoring for mammals such as squirrels, otters, pine martens, and bats, and has considerable experience working with school groups and mens’ shed groups (who have built bat boxes). We were delighted to think we might be able to contact her for Part 2 of our Creative Ireland project where the Drummin Bog project will be engaging with local schools in 2019. Denise also shared that the Integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem Critical Zone and Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) is to become an important means for biodiversity knowledge sharing across the EU.
Then NUIG cultural geography doctoral researcher Kate Flood presented her research on assessing the cultural side of the EU Ecosystems Services Framework, a framework that will be introduced in Ireland. Kate’s research will shape and critically review this framework so the best guiding framework is developed for Irish peatlands and their communities. Kate’s previous research and experience in capturing the oral history of Girley Bog means that she has been invaluable to the Drummin Bog artists developing the Drummin Bog Rosemary Oral History Project.
The CWF meeting ended with a walk and discussion on Drummin Bog. Everyone’s experience and knowledge was so valuable – from environmental and geological knowledge, to policy and social outreach. The important part of the day was getting to know others’ working across the CWF community for such endangered and significant Irish habitats. We quickly accepted an invitation from Kate to visit Girley bog in County Meath too!
Kate Flood, Girley Bog, Co. Meath and Chris Uys, Development Officer with the CWF talk with Drummin Bog Project committee members.