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[bio]diverse bats?

a lepidopteran of some kind

a lepidopteran of some kind

biodiversity: n the existence of a wide variety of plants and animals in their natural environments [collins dictionary]

I came home one night [a little the worse!] and saw this fella at my front door. So I took a photo. I thought it was a bat? It’s not. It looks like one. It’s not. But in my research I found Bats are good. Necessary; for plants, for humans – for life. They have a role to play.

I tried to check it out on the Bat Conservation Ireland website, but I found their web information so technical, for me anyway, as an apprentice novice of bats.

What I did find was [yet again & well done] by Dubln City Council. So I telephoned the number and got Mairead Stack [we’d met before], well her voice mail. So I emailed. [Mairead is the biodiversity officer for DCC]. I wanted to find out if it was a bat and what on earth were they good for!

The website pdf says:

The main value is insect control. The common pippistrell can catch up to 3,500 midgets in a night. Bats also serve as indicators of the health of the ecosystem.

God, if we didn’t have bats. Imagine what outside that spotlight would really look like…?!! Mairead also responded [thank you] to my email and informed me that:

It certainly isn’t a bat…. It’s a lepidopteran of some kind (moth).If you go to Bat Conservation Ireland’s website you will find lots of helpful advice and guidance on bats. Also, the DCC Biodiversity Action Plan on www.dublincity.ie lists the 8 species we have in Dublin (there are 10 in Ireland). The main thing re gardens and bats is to grow lots of insect attracting flowers so nectar producing, sweet smelling (especially in evening/night time). Also to have some water feature, again to attract insects on which bats feed, have a mature tree which is forked in which they can roost and put up bat box in the apex of the eaves of your house.

Full credit to DCC and Mairéad. Bulaibh bós in fact. It’s amazing the varying [and most welcome] calls that come in to a landscape & design office [partly the reason why I blog]. But I now know in writing that people shouldn’t be afraid of these chappies – we need them. Now all I need is a picture of a moth bat…

Urban Garden brightens up Smithfield

The previous article may explain why I got involved in urban garden [click here for previous article] … but I think you’ll find Mary Wier of [and] Dublin City Council organised a day that held in store a lot more than just a good looking horticulturist […that’d be me by the way]. The day really did make a difference.

We do need to make an effort to green up ‘our’ spaces.

I hope you enjoyed it and more importantly I hope ‘you’ took something home with you from the day [apart from a big smile] that will help you green up ‘your’ space.

Urban Garden Smithfield 2008

cows in a field - its not exactly smithfield, anymoreI’m not really one for press releases to be honest but this is worthwhile. The next time your in Smithfield, count the amount of plants, trees or even windowboxes you see? Well some-body is trying to do somehing to change that for the better and dublin City Council deserve applause for it! Not just because i’m involved. I only got involved because I believe something needs to change and this spot is just one of millions of ‘building zones’ with little else but blocks… and more blocks!

Free stuff, markets, inspiration, people smiling, music, dancing and a whole bae of other stuff to brighten up your day – come on! and no there’s no cattle being sold.

Where? Smithfield Plaza

When? Saturday July 12th 2008 12.00 – 6.00pm

And here’s the press release bit:

Dublin City Council as part of their SUMMER IN DUBLIN programme of events are delighted to welcome back URBAN GARDEN to Smithfield. Following on the success of last year’s event Smithfield plaza will become a colourful animated civic space with urban gardening demonstrations, live performances including Barren Carousel’s Aerial Act, dancing butterflies, and talking flowers as well as Australian environmentalist Dale Treadwell’s ‘Life In Your Garden’ workshop.

The innovative, award winning landscape architect Peter Donegan will preside over gardening demonstrations throughout the afternoon sharing his thoughts and ideas on how to get the best out of our urban spaces including using quirky recycling household objects!

Dublin City Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Mairead Stack will also host informative and interactive workshops outlining how we can attract wildlife to our urban spaces and why bats play an important part in preserving the environment.

URBAN GARDEN is inspired by the changing face of our capital – where apartment living is becoming the norm URBAN GARDEN in association with Dublin City Council aims to add colour to outdoor spaces, engage communities and encourage people of all ages to start planting particularly in urban areas!

Smithfield will once again play host to this event as it has a tradition of markets and over recent years has gone through a dramatic urban renaissance. The event is free to members of the public.

“A great example of how a public event at Smithfield can add colour and fun and festivity. More please!!!” – (Urban Garden 2007)

For further information on URBAN GARDEN contact Grainne on 087 2846976.
For further information on SUMMER IN DUBLIN check out the Dublin City Council website www.dublincity.ie