Often the bedrock to a successful project these establish a baseline from which to better understand our existing neighbourhood, highlight areas for improvement, and identify features to protect and maintain. Often simple to undertake these are proving to be fundamental to our success.
There are many surveys planned, and a few are already underway where your help is needed:
We have mapped areas on the national database where we are proactively involved with biodiversity projects. We several sites and erected the official signage to show that the location is being managed for their benefit.
Discover our entries to date within the Navan area https://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie/
This is a simple idea to gauge the state of the nation and we are being asked to ‘Pledge your Garden for Pollinators’. If you have purposely planted or changed your garden to help then simply record your work on the national database https://pollinators.ie/gardens/.
Insect and Wildlife Survey
As we develop our pollinator-friendly projects we will be encouraging the community to record sightings of pollinator insects such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and others using the National Pollinator Recording Database. https://pollinators.ie/record-pollinators/
Stop Using Weed Killer
We are encouraging those who manage estates to stop their landscaping contractors from using poisonous chemicals to control weeds.
ORANGE - Not using weedkiller, No Signs of its use
PINK - Some use
BLUE - Yet to confirm
In 2020 we started to map trees in the neighbourhood to establish what species we host and how they might benefit biodiversity. Given that we have 1000’s of existing trees we expect this survey to take a considerable amount of time to complete.
Ultimately we will be able to report on the number and locations of these tree species and with assistance we can establish the value they provide for carbon, air pollution, solar shade, water drainage, food and habitat resources for wildlife, and more.
In rural areas these were originally created to mark field boundary lines. They also provide vital shelter, food sources, safer routes, and habitats to wildlife. Protected under the law they do need careful maintenance.
The development of suburban areas such as ours has removed sections. We plan to commence mapping our hedgerows since we know that we host several km’s. There's a long hegerow down Metges Road alongside the IDA, running between Bailis Downs and Athlumeny Wood Estate, and on to the Kentstown Road. The L5050 back road through Johnstown Village to Metges road also hosts several km's. Estate developers have planted fragments of sections and it will be interesting to see if they do actually connect up to provide continuous corridors.
1st Estate Lawn Cut
To provide the most benefit to early spring insects and wild birds we are encouraging estate groups to refrain from making the first cut of estate lawns until after mid-April.
BLUE - Yet to respond
GREEN - After Mid-April
PURPLE - Before Mid-April
Since our group's very beginnings we have tackled litter on a regular basis. Often the daily litter follows well walked routes and despite there being more public awareness, and a few more public bins, it is often the irresponsible few who casually discard their waste. The wind and the birds soon spread this and unless collected quickly by volunteers it tarnishes the appearance of our area.
Fly-tipping is sometimes an issue and the Council help to remove these hazards and local residents keep an eye on known sites. Owners who don't clean up after their pets continue to be a nuisance but it is up to everyone to make this antisocial behaviour unacceptable.
The map highlights areas that cause the most annoyance.
Navan Cycling Initiative is working to encourage more use of bicycles for everyday use as well as regular exercise. They are working with the Council to connect more of the cycle lanes and routes used for the benefit of everyone.
The map shows the cycle routes and public parking bays.
The introduction of the food recycling (brown) bins has meant less organic matter is heading to landfill. Typical residential gardens host grass, plants, trees, and together with suitable raw food from the kitchen these can be mixed to create homemade compost to reuse in the garden.
Back garden compost piles were once common but how many of us still have one?
Gardeners know that rainwater is better than tap water for healthy plants and that in dry months having a rainwater bank is essential.
We aim to reveal how well residents capture this precious resource and promote the use of rainwater butts.
Grow Your Own
To grow enough food for a family of 4 the average allotment is 100m2. The average sized back garden is the same size but few would consider digging it up to grow food. However, to supplement the dinner table many do allocate some space in which to grow veg, fruit or salads.
We're curious to see what you're up to.
This should identify where public lighting is lacking and also where it is actually pollution. The orange sodium lights are being replaced with white LED which is an energy-saving measure but it's also confusing the wildlife. Are all the street lights absolutely necessary 7 days a week, and conversely are there enough in busy areas?
Solar Hot Water Heating
New build homes have solar heating panels installed on the roof and this can be seen at Cois Glaisin, Kilcarn Wood, and at the Dunville Estate.
We're curious to see the uptake in other older estates.