I write a piece for the Cavan Post to put Birdwatch Ireland and the local branch in the paper I thought I would post up my efforts on the web too !
Birds and well being
The best things in life are free
But you can keep ’em for the birds and bees
That’s what I want
So goes the song and in many cases it can appear that environmental protection and job creation or rural development are at loggerheads.
However Ireland has changed along with Western Europe. For large numbers of people contact with the natural world in their day to day lives is more difficult. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in UK invited members to post on line the magical moments involving wildlife that moved or inspired them. The response was huge. People described seeing bright red bullfinches on dull January days and breathtaking bluebell woods in May and many encounters with wildlife. It is worth taking a browse through the responses simply called “RSPB moments”. It also shows how important to many of us these moments are.
More serious medical research has shown that contact with the natural world has an extremely beneficial effect on our health. Apart from the obvious fitness aspects of getting out and active in the outdoors the more subtle impact on mental health and mind, body and soul cannot be under estimated.
Governments are now starting to put costs on environmental degradation and species loss. Pollination done by insects is worth vast sums. Soil improvement achieved by earthworms is apparently worth 700 million euro annually to Ireland. Our wetlands and bogs act as sponges soaking up floods.
We promote our tourism image as green and natural . We also promote our food exports from a green, safe country. Both industries are worth millions and our customers in Western Europe are increasingly aware of environmental issues.
The membership of the RSPB in the UK is now three million. The equivalent organisation in Germany has a membership of 4 million. Birdwatch Ireland has membership of 14 thousand. Birdwatch Irelands objective is to protect wild birds and their habitats. We are also a group of people who simply enjoy the magical moments that watching wildlife brings. www.Birdwatchireland. ie .
Local branch contact (087) 6699681
Also in the news is the turf wars of slieve rushen http://tinyurl.com/n8kqem
I have had a great spring doing atlas work up there so I have strong opinions on the need for conservation.