Biodiversity boost: one of the positives of COVID19

11 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Greens say increased opportunity for residents groups to increase biodiversity in their area due to COVID-19

The Green Party in Cork has asked residents groups to use this Summer season as an opportunity to set an area of green space aside for greater biodiversity.

Restrictions because of COVID19 have meant that many residents groups have not been able to organise grass cutting of green areas, though these restrictions are soon to be lifted.

At a briefing of Cork City Council on Tuesday, Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran asked that residents groups be encouraged to use the opportunity to set areas in their community aside for nature. Officials said this is something that the council seeks to promote, but it requires selling to local residents groups.

Cllr. Moran said: “Setting an area set aside for nature and wildflowers doesn’t need to detract from a neat and tidy look. The two can complement each other with a bit of forethought and planning. The benefits of it are more brighter and sweeter smelling flowers as well as more insects like ladybirds, bees and butterflies, and it can add character to a place, with the knowledge that your community is doing something for the biodiversity crisis.

“The approach by UCC last year to support wildflower meadows and pollinator-friendly lawns throughout various campuses in the city broke the mould for how green areas are imagined in Irish urban centres. Other areas of the city, like Nano Nagle Centre, have done the same thing.

“Re-establishing a full wildflower meadow from a traditional lawn, like in UCC, takes work. But neighbourhoods can start by leaving a section of grass to grow long for the Summer – underneath the canopy of a tree line is an easy way to begin. Anyone who has seen the result will see why any neighbourhood or residents association would want that too. It makes your area look vivid, full of life, and it helps the planet in the fight against the biodiversity crisis we’re in.”

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