Biodiversity Week 2024 – time to connect with nature

  • More than 200 events over 10 days to celebrate nature and biodiversity

Ireland’s nature and wildlife will take centre stage from 17-26 May, with over 200 events scheduled across the country for National Biodiversity Week .

Biodiversity Week 2024 - time to connect with nature As well as highlighting the importance of biodiversity, National Biodiversity Week is also about experiencing the fun, enjoyment and spectacle of the nature that surrounds us.

The annual 10-day celebration of nature and wildlife offers a variety of free events and activities for the whole family. Organised by the Irish Environmental Network and funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the week will provide opportunities for the public to connect with nature and learn from local experts and groups actively working to protect our natural heritage.

Minister for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan T.D said:

“It’s really encouraging to see the range of events happening over the course of National Biodiversity Week this year, and to see such strong engagement from partners in government, local authorities and communities all around the country.

Our biodiversity is in crisis, but I do believe that we are at a turning point. Everyone needs to play a part if we are to turn the tide, and that’s why these events are so important. There’s something there for everyone this year – opportunities to learn about our species and habitats, to experience the joy of the dawn chorus, or just to take a walk in our National Parks and Nature Reserves and appreciate the nature that surrounds us.”

Events will reach communities in every corner of Ireland, showcasing coasts, rivers and estuaries, hedgerows, wetlands, native woodlands, the marine environment and more. Guided nature walks and field trips for children will introduce participants to pollinators and other biodiversity in local greenspaces. Hands-on workshops will cover topics ranging from composting and willow weaving to bat box building and pond creation. Discover wildlife near you with whale watching, farm walks, bat walks, biodiversity cycle tours, art workshops and more.

Amateur nature photographers are invited to submit photos for the 12th annual Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition, happening throughout May.

As people gather to celebrate biodiversity across Ireland, they’ll also discuss how to protect and restore biodiversity. With 85% of Ireland’s EU-protected habitats reported to be in “unfavourable” condition and 46% of these in decline,2 Ireland faces a future of rapidly disappearing wildlife unless action is taken.

As National Biodiversity Week kicks off, a variety of in-person and virtual events will bring communities together nationwide to be inspired by nature and learn how to pitch in to protect it.

Families and students can even participate in Biodiversity Week at home through special events like the Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt, a self-guided activity to discover wildlife in gardens or local parks. The Backyard Bioblitz will see wildlife experts on hand throughout the week to help identify photos of animals and plants submitted online.

Discovering the wonder of nature is the first step to local dialogue and action to restore biodiversity in Ireland.

Welcoming the launch of National Biodiversity Week, Karen Ciesielski, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Environmental Network, said:

“National Biodiversity Week is an opportunity to explore Ireland’s natural heritage and connect us all with nature. The beauty of National Biodiversity Week is that it not only educates but brings back the fun and wonder of nature. With more than 200 events, it draws people together from across Ireland to enjoy and be inspired by nature.

But it’s also a call to action to help address the alarming decline in our natural habitats. We are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis and Ireland is suffering widespread habitat destruction and nature loss.

Nature is not just something that is nice to have or to look at – we need healthy ecosystems, clean water, fresh and unpolluted air and sustainable food for our health and well-being. National Biodiversity Week not only celebrates nature but inspires people to protect and enhance it.”

Niall Ó Donnchú, Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service said:

“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the Irish Environmental Network this year on National Biodiversity Week. One of our strategic goals at NPWS is to champion better engagement with people about nature. Initiatives like this are a great example of this.

We are in our nature overdraft and each positive effort for nature is an investment in its return to a positive balance. There is some way to go and every increment of effort helps. This week is about highlighting that the many efforts which don’t just add up for nature they multiply for it.”

Comments are closed.