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Newsletter: January 2023

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is a framework bringing together different sectors across the island of Ireland to create a landscape where pollinators can survive and thrive. Its implementation is coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

To do this month: Pledge your garden for pollinators

Across the island of Ireland, 751 gardens have been ‘Pledged for Pollinators’ – added to our online mapping system by people who are taking positive actions for pollinators in their gardens and outdoor spaces. ‘Pledging your garden for pollinators’ means you have chosen to make your outdoor space a healthy pitstop for pollinators like wild bees. By taking some simple actions, you can help provide much-needed food and shelter for these important insects, while creating a beautiful, colourful garden. If you are striving for a pollinator-friendly garden (or park, business, school, or community area), consider adding it to the Actions for Pollinators mapping system in 2023. This helps us keep track of the number of pollinator-friendly places on the island of Ireland and brings us closer to our goal of creating a landscape where pollinators can survive and thrive.

Learn how to make your garden pollinator friendly:

A huge thank you to everyone who has already pledged their garden and added it to the map ! Take a look at the Actions for Pollinators mapping system, and find out how to add your garden.

Go to Actions for Pollinators

To spot this month: Winter bumblebees

January is still a quiet month for sightings. The normal lifecycle of most Irish bumblebees ends when the workers and males die off and the newly mated queens hibernate through the cold Winter months. However, in recent years, the Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) has been seen foraging during winter months in both Ireland and in southern Britain. It is not known for certain what exactly is causing this. You can help improve our understanding by letting us know if you spot winter-active bumblebee workers. Photo: Ciaran Taylor

Submit your bumblebee sightings

National Biodiversity Data Centre helps develop GAA Green Club Toolkit


On Saturday 3rd December, the National Biodiversity Data Centre was one of several partner organisations who attended the launch of a new GAA Green Club Toolkit. This online toolkit provides simple advice for the implementation of sustainability actions at GAA clubs across five areas: Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Travel & Transport. It will be freely available to all GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association units and members.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre helped develop the biodiversity branch of the toolkit as an expert partner to the Green Club programme, drawing on the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan guidelines for pollinator-friendly management of sports clubs. Photo shows the Toolkit launch at Croke Park.

More information

The islands first farmer moth monitoring project

Moths are important nocturnal pollinators. In 2022, Dr Saorla Kavanagh and Owen Beckett of the National Biodiversity Data Centre worked with a group of 20 farmers to support them in monitoring moths on their farms. The Farmer Moth Monitoring Project was a one-year EIP (European Innovation Partnership) project that was administered by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The project was a great success and demonstrated that a wide variety of moths can be found on Irish farms.
Click on the link below to read more about the project and find a flyer on 6 common moths found on farmland.
Farmer Moth Monitoring Project

Free online identification courses from the National Biodiversity Data Centre

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has developed a series of free online identification courses. Winter is a great time to brush up on your skills, before the field season starts again. Learn about spiders, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies or marine biodiversity.
Go to Ireland’s Biodiversity Learning Platform