Heritage Days Are Happy Days. This was certainly the case as MulkearLIFE kicked-off its involvement with National Heritage Week 2013 in great style yesterday. The outing at Annacotty on the Mulkear River was held in warm sunshine and attracted many local wildlife enthusiasts and eager young research scientists. The event entitled Exploring Biodiversity on the Mulkear River at Annacotty included discussions on local biodiversity, the importance of riparian habitats and the dangers posed by non-native invasive plant species.
Review of management of riparian habitats, Heritage Week 2013 (Image: Clare Moffat)
The work undertaken to date by MulkearLIFE, its Project Partners and the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers on address the problem of invasive plant species was highlighted with before and after pictures showing the scale of the problem of Himalayan Balsam at Annacotty.
Discussion on the Himalayan Balsam and how it spreads (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The need for effective site-specific management plans for non-native invasive plant species, like Himalayan Balsam was reviewed as was the ability of the plant to reproduce.
Himalayan Balsam seeds and how they pop, Heritage Week 2013 (Image: Clare Moffat)
The event also included young scientists undertaking practical research work on water quality and aquatic macro-invertebrates or ‘bugs’ as they are known in their world! Several kick-samples were taken by the children to identify what ‘bugs’ live in the water.
Preparing for kick-sampling during Heritage Week 2013 (Image: Clare Moffat)
The event also examined the rich biodiversity around Annacotty weir where the life cycle of various fish species was discussed. The impact that barriers, like Annacotty weir, have on sea lamprey and other migrating species was discussed. Their migration and upstream passage in the Mulkear River was outlined as was the work which MulkearLIFE has undertaken over the past four years to improve passage. The extraordinary life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon was also discussed. This included viewing a Salmon fry, which one of the junior scientists had caught (and released).
Young research assistant goes kick sampling, Heritage Week 2013 (Image: Clare Moffat)
Reviewing what macro-invertebrates are on show (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The event concluded with prize giving for children who correctly identified various species of birds, fish and mammals on the LIFE Mural in Annacotty. A great day of learning and sharing – ensuring once again this year that ‘Heritage Days Are Happy Days’.
Prizes for all – ensuring Heritage Days Are Happy Days (Image: Clare Moffat)
The second event being hosted by MulkearLIFE as part of Heritage Week 2013 takes place this Saturday (24th August 2013). It is a field trip entitled ‘The Magical Mulkear: A Field Trip Of Discovery’. This free event, for which pre-booking is required, promises to be a very enjoyable day and will involve a bus excursion to visit a range of exciting sites throughout the catchment. The field trip will focus on the rich biodiversity of the Mulkear catchment (from source to mouth) and some walking will take place to access sites. The event is suitable for children and adults alike but only a very few places are left and pre-booking is required (Tel. 061 300 238 or e-mail email@example.com)*. The bus will depart the Mill Bar Car Park, Annacotty @ 10.00hrs returning between 14.00 and 15.00hrs. For full details of these events and all other events taking place throughout Ireland as part of Heritage Week 2013 please see the Heritage Week website: Heritage Week 2013