Talk a walk in Clogheenmilcon Fen, Blarney to mark World Wetlands Day

1 February 2020
By Mary Bermingham

Get your Wellies on for World Wetland Day

This Sunday, February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, a date celebrated internationally each year, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1971. World Wetlands Day aims to raise awareness about the vital role of wetlands to people and planet. The theme this year is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’.

Free Pic No repro fee. Typical vegetation in a Fen

Ireland’s wetlands are really very rich in biodiversity and play an important role in flood relief and regulation of the water cycle. With the challenge of climate change on everyone’s mind it’s important to note that our underappreciated wetlands also sequester carbon, drawing it down from the atmosphere through plants and trapping it underground. The intrinsic value of our fens, marshes and bogs is huge, in their carbon sink capacity and in the opportunities for education, health, recreation and re-connection to nature they provide.

Wetlands support a variety of waterfowl, fish, amphibian, reptile, invertebrates and plant species. This biodiversity is the foundation to the value of wetland ecosystems. The contribution that our wetland biodiversity has on our living environments is often undervalued.

Cork Nature Network, a voluntary organisation aiming to promote conservation of wildlife and habitats, is celebrating this World Wetlands Day by hosting a wetlands walk in a fen in Blarney. The event aims to raise public awareness of the value and benefits of wetlands and to promote the conservation and appreciation of them.

The walk will take place in Clogheenmilcon Fen, Blarney. Ecologist Pascal Sweeney explains “On the walk we will learn the differences between a marsh, swamp, fen and bog and identify various plant species, look at aquatic plants in the pond and identify aquatic invertebrates. We will be getting up close and personal with water-boatmen, back-swimmers, diving beetles, damselfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae and different types of mayfly nymphs and crustaceans. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with our wonderful wetlands”.

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