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St Christopher’s Habitat

Insects are crucial components of many ecosystems, where they perform many important functions. They aerate the soil, pollinate blossoms, and control insect and plant pests. Many insects, especially beetles, are scavengers, feeding on dead animals and fallen trees, thereby recycling nutrients back into the soil. As decomposers, insects help create top soil, the nutrient-rich layer of soil that helps plants grow. Burrowing bugs, such as ants and beetles, dig tunnels that provide channels for water, benefiting plants. Bees, wasps, butterflies, and ants pollinate flowering plants. Gardeners love the ladybird and praying mantis because they control the size of certain insect populations, such as aphids and caterpillars, which feed on new plant growth.
Birds are obviously important members of many ecosystems. They are integral parts of food chains and food webs. In a woodland ecosystem for example, some birds get their food mainly from plants. Others chiefly eat small animals, such as insects or earthworms. Birds and bird eggs, in turn, serve as food for such animals as foxes, raccoons, and snakes. The feeding relationships among all the animals in an ecosystem help prevent any one species from becoming too numerous. Birds play a vital role in keeping this balance of nature.
The once common sight of hedgehogs in gardens could become a thing of the past, with the spiny species having suffered a dramatic decline in recent years on a par with the loss of starlings, red squirrels and other wildlife.
Tidy Towns today put up a number insect boxes, bird boxes and nesting boxes and hedgehog houses to try to encourage these valuable sections of our ecosystems and we’d like tot hank St Christophers for their permission to erect these in the small habitat area on the Granard Road.

 

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Irish Bogs

Duncan Stewart investigates the technical, social and environmental implications of restoring and protecting the country’s bogs from the activities of cutting and burning.

This link leads to the RTE player – this video will be viewable until 15th February

Watch Here

Water Crisis

An interesting and alarming article.

Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, African penguins, sunshine and sea, is a world-renowned tourist destination. But it could also become famous for being the first major city in the world to run out of water.

Read more on the BBC website
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42626790

 

 

Ocean pollution

This is an interesting article on ocean pollution on the BBC News website – well worth a read.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42190678

Planters

It was a week of planters this week with the new tree planters arriving in town on Wednesday morning – courtesy of Town Development and Longford County Council and on Wednesday evening replacing the old with the new – new plants (purchased from the Manor Garden) planted in the concrete plant holders in the Green.

Dublin Road – Planted area

We recently gave a revamp and update to a planted area on the Dublin Road that needed freshening up – we had some great help out for the couple of days it took but it’s looking well and as the year goes on we hope it will start to look even better. Photos by John McGerr and John Cahill.

Planted area work

Over the past couple of weeks we have done some work in Lisnageeragh to tidy up three planted areas that had gotten overgrown and untidy – we dug away all the weeds, put down new weed barrier and pruned back the pampas grass. We also covered all with stone. We have some finish up work to do but it looks much better now.