News from Biodiversity Ireland
May 2023

This monthly newsletter provides an update on some of the work of the National Biodiversity Data Centre and highlights upcoming events.

Biodiversity Ireland magazine

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has published its 24th edition of Biodiversity Ireland which is our bi-annual newsletter. It is a way of showcasing aspects of the project work of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, but also to highlight some of the recording and survey work undertaken by key partners.

Read Biodiversity Ireland here

Festival of Farmland Biodiversity

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is again hosting a month-long (virtual) Festival of Farmland Biodiversity for May 2023. The purpose of the Festival is to encourage a more positive engagement around the topic of biodiversity and farmland, and to highlight some of the ways that farmers can work to support biodiversity.

What will it involve:

  • Sharing advice on evidence-based actions on farmland to help biodiversity.
  • Highlighting seasonal actions for pollinators on farmland.
  • Videos highlighting actions farmers have taken to help pollinators for the Protecting Farmland Pollinators EIP project.
  • Sharing examples of actions framers have taken to help biodiversity.
  • Highlighting the threat posed by invasive alien species.
  • ‘Biodiversity on your Farm’, profiling species that occur on farmland, how to record your sightings and simple biodiversity management tips.
  • On-line course to learn how to identify farmland birds.
  • Getting farmers involved in biodiversity surveying and monitoring.
Go to the Festival of Farmland Biodiversity website

Invasive Species Week

For one week every year, organisations across Ireland, the UK, Isle of Mann, Jersey and Guernsey come together for a week of action to raise awareness on Invasive Alien Species and actions to prevent their spread. There are loads of events and activities planned this year in Ireland from webinars and workshops to guided tours and exhibits. Go to our calendar of events to find out more about how you can get involved.

Go to our calendar of events

Content from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan team

To do this month #NoMowMay

#NoMowMay is an annual campaign started by Plantlife in the UK, asking everyone to put away the lawnmower during the month of May to help our native wildlife.

Native Irish wildflowers like Dandelions, Clover, and Birds-foot trefoil provide the best source of pollen and nectar for our hungry wild pollinators. By mowing less, we can give them a chance to appear naturally – no seeds needed!

If you can, leave the lawn mower in the shed for the month of May to allow Clovers and other flowers to naturally bloom and feed hungry insects. You don’t have to let things go wild, but reducing mowing, even in small areas, will have a very positive impact on our pollinators (and it’s free!)

This year the National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to collaborate with An Post to promote No Mow May and encourage as many people as possible to take part.
Join the buzz to save the bees by sharing your #NoMowMay lawn on social media.

Find out more
All Councils on the island have signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan
As of March 2023, all 42 councils on the island of Ireland have formally signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. We are delighted that every council is now formally partnered and committed to taking actions. This is a huge achievement that shows we are all on the same page when it comes to managing our landscape for biodiversity. We’d like to thank all our Council Partners for joining the effort to help pollinators and are looking forward to continuing to support them in taking the right actions in the coming years.
Find out more
New resource: Top Ten Pollinator-friendly Plants for Different Situations
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is delighted to release a new free resource. Developed in collaboration with Dr Noeleen Smyth of Horticulture UCD, the booklet contains 24 lists of pollinator-friendly plants that are suitable for different situations. As you know, we always encourage you to prioritise native species. However, horticultural plants in garden settings can also help flower-visiting insects when they are rich in pollen and nectar. This guide is primarily aimed at helping you choose the best garden plants for pollinators.
Find out more and download the free guide here

Content from Explore Your Shore!

New Intertidal Fish and Invertebrates’ Swatch

The Data Centre is delighted to launch the latest identification swatch in our ‘Ireland’s Biodiversity’ series. The ‘Intertidal Fish and Invertebrates’ swatch will help you to identify 61 common intertidal fish and invertebrate species, from a beadlet anemone to a butterfish. You can use this swatch, along with our ‘Intertidal Seaweeds’ and ‘Marine Bivalve Shells’ swatches, to take part in our marine biodiversity recording project, Explore Your Shore! (

Buy your swatch online today

New Explore Your Shore Survey!

Explore Your Shore! wants You to help us find Ireland’s most Biodiverse rocky shore by taking part in The Great Rocky Shore BioBlitz! The survey will be of interest to anyone who has an interest in monitoring their local shore, improving their marine species identification skills, and contributing to our knowledge of Ireland’s coastal biodiversity. You can submit multiple species from the same location using our submission form. Revisit the same shore again and again, and at different times of year, to see if you can add additional species to the list. You can even submit photos of species you can’t identify!
To take part visit the survey web page

Seashore Splash! For Biodiversity Week 2023

Biodiversity Week 2023 runs from the 19th – 28th May and to celebrate the Data Centre will be running our Seashore Splash! recording event, where we ask you to photograph and record as many marine species as you can during Biodiversity Week. How many marine species can you record in 30 minutes?… how many can you record in one week? And there will be prizes! two lucky recorders who submit records for our Seashore Splash! will win a copy of our brand identification swatch on Ireland’s Intertidal Fish and Invertebrates.
Click for full information, and to keep track of progress during Biodiversity Week

Spring Flowers Project – May 2023

The Spring Flowers Project is a joint initiative between the BSBI and the Data Centre which was kicked off in 2017, and comprises an agreement between both parties to target 20 easily identifiable spring flowers for recording, along with the provision of a special on-line recording form specifically for the project. This project is suitable for all knowledge levels and is also perfect for beginners or entry-level recorders, so if you’re interested in recording plants but don’t know where to start, why not check out our Spring Flowers Project.

The project is looking for records of 20 species, most of which are common and easily distinguished from other plant species. Spring flowers have already been spotted in flower, so over the coming weeks it’s a good time to get your eye in for what species are in your area. Things to look out for at this time of year are species like Primrose and Coltsfoot. Non-native species such as Winter Heliotrope and Three-Cornered Garlic are still also in flower and even when gone over are particularly noticeable.
There is currently 3700+ records already submitted through Ireland’s Citizen Science Portal for our chosen species, with Lesser Celandine still being the most heavily recorded. Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is currently our fifth most recorded species and is an easy one to get you eye in for.

Bluebells Identification Tips: 
Bluebells are currently in flower and carpeting woodland floors across the country. The flowers are blue/purple, Tubular-bells shaped flowers which droop on one side, the leaves are long, grass-like and fleshy. The species can be found carpeting woodland floors and also along laneways.

Native Bluebell can be told apart from the garden varieties or Hybrids by the long tubular-bell shaped flowers which are blue/purple & droop on one side. The others have a more upright appearance with flowers whorled all around the stem.
One to watch:
Wild Garlic/Ramsons (Allium ursinum) is another species that is fully in flower across much of the country. Similarly to Bluebells it can carpet woodland floors, clusters of white star-shaped flowers and long, broad leaves (smelling of garlic).
More information on the Spring Flowers Project can be found on our webpage here: – as well as resources, like or Spring Flowers Project Spotter Sheets, which are available in both Irish and English. Keep an eye out on our social media platforms also and follow along using #SpringFlowersProject

Spring Flowers Spotter Sheet (English)
Spring Flowers Spotter Sheet (As Gaeilge)

Remember to submit all your sightings through

Content from Dragonfly Ireland

Dragonfly Dash! For Biodiversity Week 2023

To celebrate Biodiversity Week 2023 the Data Centre will be running our Dragonfly Dash! recording event, where we ask you to record as many dragonfly and damselfly species as you can from the 19th – 28th May. How many species can you record in 30 minutes?… how many can you record in one week? And there will be a prize! one lucky recorder who submits records for our Dragonfly Dash! will win a copy of a Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ireland by Robert Thompson and Brian Nelson.

Click for full information, and to keep track of progress during Biodiversity Week

Dragonfly Dash! For Biodiversity Week 2023

It’s that time of year when we start thinking of Dragonflies and Damselflies again. The National Biodiversity Data Centre is running Dragonfly and Damselfly identification workshops in five counties across Ireland. Courses are suitable for beginners to intermediate level.

  • Glendalough, Co Wicklow – Sat 27th May
  • Ballinafad, Co. Sligo – Sat 27th May
  • Rosscahill, Co. Galway – Sat 10th June
  • Cabragh Wetlands, Co. Tipperary – Sat 17th June
  • Kilmurry, Co. Cork – Sat 24th June.
To book you place, visit our workshops page