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Wicklow County Council Leads Biodiversity Initiative

Date: 5 May 2022

Green TD Steven Matthews has welcomed a new scheme which will promote biodiversity in the Garden County and trial alternatives to the use of weedkillers. Speaking following the announcement from Wicklow County Council, Deputy Matthews said:

“We are facing a Biodiversity Emergency and it has never been more important to implement measures that will enable our native wildflowers, plants and animals to thrive. Almost a third of Irish bees are threatened with extinction. We must act now to protect pollinators, prevent further habitat loss, and build the resilience of our ecosystems to climate change.

“I first raised the issue of weedkiller use and its negative effects on biodiversity, water supply and human health in a motion which I proposed as an elected councillor to the Bray Municipal District six years ago. I recently wrote to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine seeking nationwide trials of alternatives to pesticides where vegetation needs to be managed around playgrounds, railway tracks and near rivers, streams, and ponds.

“I am delighted that Wicklow County Council has launched this initiative to pilot new weed control techniques that avoid the use of harsh chemicals. I also welcome the council’s dedication and commitment to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and the introduction of a reduced mowing regime in suitable publicly owned sites in each municipal district.

“I would encourage local groups and individuals to get involved in the ‘Grow Don’t Mow’ campaign as we enter the summer season. By allowing daisies and dandelions to flower, we can maintain a vital food source for our pollinators including wild bees, bumblebees and hover flies. As we approach World Bee Day on May 20th and the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd, this is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the natural world and involve them in our activities to promote biodiversity”, Deputy Matthews concluded.



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