Following on from the BTTs tote shopping bags and as part of our continued Sustainability efforts, we recently commissioned the Ballincollig Tidy Towns Keep Coffee Cups.
The Keep Cups have many advantages evident in these links –

We are, at present approaching many local coffee establishments in the hope that they will agree to stock the Keep Cups so that people may purchase them and perhaps while using them they will get a discount on their coffee or tea.
Café Chico have kindly come on board and have agreed to stock these Keep Cups. They will be available from Saturday morning. The cost of these Keep Cups is €6.00 and we hope that people will enjoy them.



The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan will be releasing three short videos about ‘the Basics of Bees’ for World Bee Day 2022 on 20th May. Links for these videos will be added once they become available.
The first of these videos is what pollinators are – an introduction to the 100 different types of bees in Ireland and why they are in trouble.
The second is the top ten ways to help pollinators – this video gives an overview of the top ten things that can be done to help pollinators, recommended by the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.
The third video talks about how people can help – by keeping an eye on their patch it will help the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan understand more about pollinators.




Last Sunday morning we had 20 Volunteers and 4 Transition Year students out for the weekly litter pick. It was a lovely morning and because of the large number of people out we were able to cover a very large area. From Classis to Carrigrohane and everywhere in between and also the Regional Park.
As is usual, during the week, several of our Volunteers carried out daily litter picks. All the litter was then added to what the scouts had collected on Saturday.
On Monday when all the litter was segregated it yielded 5 bags of green waste, 5 bags of plastic, one bag of cans and one crate of glass.



World Otter Day 2022 is 25th May and Cork Nature Network is delighted to offer a guided walk and talk led by Cork Nature Networks Campaign Manager, John Armstrong, along the Ballincollig Otter Trail in the Regional Park on 26th May at 7:00 pm. The event is part of a week of activities and promotions on the Cork Otter Trails.
John Armstrong’s talk will be about Otter Ecology, the importance of the River Lee for otters and why they should be protected. Learn more about these secretive mammals.
The meeting point will be at the first ‘Otter trail’ sign, just past the main car park. The entire walk should take about an hour. The walk is quite easy and should suit everyone.



On Tuesday morning Anthony our Volunteer was back and he strimmed the bank behind the hydrangeas at Carrigrohane. This was done in preparation for the ‘annual clean‘ of the area after the daffodils have died back.
The winter flowers were removed on Monday and John sorted them. Some were replanted at the allotment others were harvested and the remainder were put in the compost bays.
Adrian spent Thursday morning working on the three flower beds at Station Road. He removed all the weeds and prepared the ground for planting.
John cut the grass on both the Old Fort Road & Killumney Road.



Marie from VMware spent Thursday morning helping Ger put up the remaining flower containers on the poles opposite Tesco.




pics of the week:




The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan are often asked if wildflower seed mixes should be planted. The answer is always no as they can and often do contain species that are non-native.
Irish pollinators need the native wildflowers they have evolved alongside. The seeds in many wildflower seed mixes are imported from other countries according to studies, and despite what the packet might say, they are not native. There is a huge risk of accidentally bringing in invasive species like black grass cos if spread it would be devastating to the Irish agricultural industry.  
Before buying wildflower seed it should be sourced carefully and should only ever be planted in your own garden. It should be viewed in the same way as perhaps planting Lavender, Comfrey or Crocus, a colourful ‘garden action’ but not a ‘biodiversity action’.  
Reduce mowing and amazing wildflowers like Dandelion, Clovers, Self-heal and Bird’s-foot-trefoil pop-up naturally year after year at no cost. The common flowers provide  nutrients the insects need. This helps biodiversity. By returning pockets of natural grassland meadows and verges the collective benefit to wildlife is enormous.
Planting what our declining pollinators actually need is a long-term solution to the biodiversity crisis. 
In lawns, verges, towns, villages, and parks, we are encouraged to help bees and biodiversity by not planting wildflower seed. Instead, reduce mowing and allow beautiful natural Irish meadows to return with native flowers that are meant to be there. It won’t look like the front of a wildflower seed packet, but that’s not a natural habitat and is not what pollinators want. 
Why not change expectations and create thousands of natural mini meadows that genuinely help biodiversity, not artificial ones that humans find attractive. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan strongly endorses natural regeneration of meadows
#Let DandelionsBee; #NoMowMay; #Don’tSowLetItGrow  It does not endorse any wildflower seed mixes, despite what third party websites may imply.