Community Biodiversity Action Plan

Initiated 2022

For the past few years we've come to better understand the bigger picture when it comes to caring for our our environment but we've not had a masterplan. Now the opportunity has arisen to create one with expert help.

Johnstown & Biodiversity

The term 'Biodiversity' simply refers to the abundance and variety of living organisms within a given space but unfortunately, this has been declining in Johnstown over the centuries.

Click to find out more

Our suburban neighbourhood is now a typical Irish example of where once wild natural forests covered the land before farming practices cleared and planted monoculture crops. Roll forwards hundreds of years to the 1990's and residential developers poured concrete and tarmac roads, erected buildings, planted a few hundred trees, and laid acres of manicured grass lawns. 

Glimpses of ancient native Ireland is now rare and it's therefore no surprise that the abundance of local natural flora, fauna, and wildlife that we see around us today are a far cry from what was once here. Unfortunately, we depend on other species to maintain our delicate ecosystem. We need them to create a healthy balance and so we really should be embracing them rather than keep destroying their homes.

What Do We Have?

Did you know that Johnstown is home to more than humans?

Click to find out more

We have woodlands, rivers, commercial, office, factory, and even farming areas within our residential neighbourhood it should mean that we also host a significant 'wild community' too. Many of us are completely unaware of the variety of species that live here with us. We've buzzards, bats, and swifts that you might not often see flying above us. The garden wild birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs are far easier to see than the otters, salmon, and trout in the river. There are countless worms and beetles burrowing in the soil, and there's also lichen, fungi, and mosses finding homes amongst our manicured gardens. 

Are we all aware that every species plays a role in supporting our environment?

What We Do.

If you've followed environmental news for the past decade then you probably already know exactly what we should all be doing. 

Click to find out more

Simply do fewer things that hurt our environment, and preferably completely stop, reverse, be kinder, and ultimately do better.

Our positive biodiversity actions don't actually cost money, in fact, most actions save considerable amounts of money and utilse free alternatives. If the community can stop harming the environment then mother nature will in return provide food, shelter, and safety for the other creatures that create our ecosystem. Our group intentionally does not create traditional planting, we won't promote neatly cut lawns, there'll be no more daffodils and tulips, we love weeds, and we don't think you should pressure hose lichen from concrete walls or floors. Our reasoning is that we think we can have a low 'negative' impact on our environment and produce wonderful features. Our projects tend to offer a restoring balance or have a healing effect on the ecosystem. 


To highlight a few: our bridge flowers are now 100% pollinator friendly yet colourful and attractive, our summer meadows aim to create safety, food and shelter to insects, we brought some native wildflowers to a site previously sterilised by chemicals, we stopped the use of weedkiller by MCC in Johnstown. Our verge edging creates new soil, our sunflower trail is a closed loop project because every element provides an environmental function from birth to rebirth - seeds for wild birds, pollen for insects, stems and leaves for compost, and even the roots return nitrogen to the soil.


Promoting lifestyle changes is not going to appeal to everyone. Even when change costs less they are controversial because they go against decades of commercial marketing of false images and dominance over our natural environment and this will take time to overcome.

See our Planting and positive Initiatives for projects you can participate in.

Time Table

If you've been following our projects you'll see that there is a common thread even if there's not been a masterplan. The grant has enabled us to engage an ecologist to help uncover what exactly Johnstown currently has to offer and leads to a community action plan. 

Click to find out more

January - Grant received.  ✔️

February - Ecologist appointed.  ✔️

March - Site walk with Ecologist completed  ✔️

April and June - The Ecologist conducts surveys.  ✔️

July - Feedback progress report to The Community Foundation Ireland   ✔️

August - Meeting to discuss findings and devise a community action plan.  ✔️

April 2024 - Report presentation to The Community Foundation Ireland.   ✔️

May 2023 - Review recommendations and formulate action plans.

Johnstown Report

Johnstown Community Biodiversity Action Plan Report .pdf

Produced by Ecologist Fintan Damer MSc. via a 2023 grant from The Community Foundation Ireland

Group Review

May 2024: We're studying the report and extracting items to highlight and promote. We plan to engage with local schools and community groups to carry out the recommended action plan.