Busy summer of ecological works completed

It’s been a busy field season for the growing ecology team in Ireland. As well as the standard Fossitt habitat and baseline surveys, some of this year’s highlights include:

  • Protecting a Sand martin colony from the jaws of a digger on a site in Claregalway. The colony were raising their chicks in large mound of topsoil, which was due to be removed from site. Quick action was made to protect them by fencing the area off until the chicks had fledged. A more permanent home will be made for them over the winter to be ready for them when they come back next spring. 
  • Bee-orchid rescue was carried out at a construction site in Limerick City. The ecologists saved around 100 bee-orchids from the spoil they were happily growing in, to be transplanted back to the site after the works have been carried out.
  • Ten weeks for Ecological Clerk of Works on the Dunkellin River, Co. Galway which involved hands-on work rescuing white-clawed crayfish, eel, lamprey, trout and salmon from arterial dredging spoils for Galway County Council. 
  • A long walk along the River Bride, Co. Cork to map the extensive cover of Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. This is the first step in the development of a catchment-based strategy for eradication of invasive species in the Bride Catchment. The project was funded by Cork County Council in partnership with the BRIDE Project. 
  • Discovery of an historical well on a development site with direct groundwater connection to an SAC  - demonstrating our intrepid on-site survey skills!
  • Lots of baseline surveys – including Kings Island scheme, which includes among its mitigation, special measures for nesting solitary bees!
  • Nearly 20 bat surveys were completed by JBA ecologists this season, on a range of sites from residential to commercial and flood relief schemes. The Limerick team enjoyed a lovely cup of tea in the trusty survey camper van before their last bat survey of the season.