At a ceremony in Clare County Council on Monday 3 February, Chief Executive Pat Dowling and Cathaoirleach Cllr. Cathal Crowe signed a framework agreement with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to undertake actions to support pollinators in County Clare. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is a cross-sector initiative, led by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, with local authorities, farmers, businesses, schools and local communities to support pollinators such as bees.
Ireland depends on pollinating insects and the important service they provide; they sustain our food production and provide for a healthy environment. Pollinators provide a priceless service and cross-pollinate over 1,000 food plants, fruit, vegetables, berries and nuts. A third of what we eat would not be available without pollinators.
Unfortunately, our pollinators are in decline. Of the 99 different types of bees on the island of Ireland, nearly one third are threatened with extinction. County Clare is very important for pollinators and the Burren is the headquarters for bees in Ireland with 75% of all bee species found here, including the Great Yellow Bumblebee, Shrill Carder Bee and Red-shanked Carder Bee, all of which are rare and threatened with extinction.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is a strategy that addresses this problem as a shared plan of action to help our pollinators. Clare County Council are already meeting many of the 30 actions to help pollinators in the pollinator-friendly actions proposed for Councils, exceeding effort in some and in need of improvements for others. Clare County Council are taking actions to support pollinators on public land, working with local community groups, residents’ associations and schools to help raise awareness of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. To better support these efforts and to better promote the work being undertaken, the National Biodiversity Data Centre has developed this framework to recognise Councils as partners of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.
In becoming an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Partner, Clare County Council agrees:
1. That Clare County Council supports the ethos of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and will consider the Plan in their policies, plans, and management decisions where possible.
2. To consider the evidence-based actions in the guideline document Councils: Actions to help Pollinators, and to carry out one pollinator-friendly action in the first year of signing up and plan to carry out at least three more within the following five years. The guideline document lists 30 possible actions, many of which are low cost or cost-neutral.
3. To update the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Team (within the National Biodiversity Data Centre) on the positive pollinator actions planned, implemented or maintained at the end of each year, when contacted, to help promote work.
Cathal Crowe Cathaoirleach said that “It is important that Clare County Council supports local and national efforts to halt the decline of pollinators. Organisations, Tidy Town groups and individuals throughout County Clare are doing amazing work in actively manageing sites to create bee friendly spaces through pollinator friendly planting”.
Dr Úna FitzPatrick, All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Founder and Project Coordinator, said “This is a very important step. We have witnessed so much positive action by individuals and local communities around the country, and so many Councils have made changes to the way they manage their parks and public lands – to make them more pollinator-friendly. We are thrilled that Clare County Council has become a partner to the Plan and agreed to take actions to help protect our biodiversity.
This brings the current tally of Council partners across the island to 21:
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Nov 2019)
- Ards and North Down Borough Council (April 2019)
- Clare County Council (Feb 2020)
- Cork City Council (Sept 2019)
- Donegal County Council (Jan 2020)
- Dublin City Council (Mar 2019)
- Dun Laoghaoire Rathdown County Council (Mar 2019)
- Fingal County Council (Mar 2019)
- Kerry County Council (June 2019)
- Kilkenny County Council (Feb 2019)
- Limerick City & County Council (Feb 2019)
- Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (Mar 2019)
- Meath County Council (Nov 2019)
- Monaghan County Council (June 2019)
- South Dublin County Council (Nov 2019)
- Tipperary County Council (April 2019)
- Waterford City & County Council (April 2019)
- Wexford County Council (April 2019)
- Westmeath County Council (Feb 2020)
- Wicklow County Council (Nov 2019)