Bats and Biodiversity on the Monaghan Greenway.
This event was led by Sean Meehan (Irish Wildlife Trust) on a warm dry evening. With introductions made, we began with a look at biodiversity along the Ulster Canal Greenway from Old Cross Square heading northwards.
This event was led by Sean Meehan (Irish Wildlife Trust) on a warm dry evening. With introductions made, we began with a look at biodiversity along the Ulster Canal Greenway from Old Cross Square heading northwards. Starting at 8pm meant that there was plenty of light to discover and discuss biodiversity along the route while we made our way to our destination of the old lock-keepers cottage and the nearby outdoor classroom. First up was a 30metre section of fence had been previously underplanted with wildflower some years ago and this had developed into a wide range of native plants although there was strong grass growth as well suggesting the need for some yellow rattle. It was suggested that the variety of seeds and berries would be fantastic for birds and that leaving the area uncut for as long as possible would be advised. Entering the northern section of the Greenway, the subject turned to trees (there were a number of apple trees planted there some years previously by Monaghan Tidy Towns and there were poppies in flower where the ground had been disturbed by works earlier in the year. The Shambles River, a tributary of the River Blackwater runs parallel to this section of the Greenway and the canal runs along the opposite side from the lockhouse to the Greenways end at Coolshannagh, both watercourses allowing for discussion of aquatic habitats and creatures. By the time we reached the Lockhouse it was almost dark and Sean provided a number of bat detectors to the group. Very soon the local bats were out and about providing plenty of opportunity to both see them in flight across the night sky and hear them with the aid of the bat detectors. The new outdoor classroom installed earlier in the summer provided a perfect viewing and listening platform.
This was a Heritage Week Event