Category Archives: biodiversity

The Gardening Committee have done it AGAIN

MANY, MANY THANKS to the Parents’ Association’s Gardening Committee. They make the school year so interesting for us and great fun. Today they organised us planting vegetables in the school garden. Take a look at the slide show below to see more. Thanks to Ms. Murray for taking the photographs. Click on THIS LINK to see other posts about gardening in the school.

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‘Spring Alive’ website – encouraging children’s interest in nature and migratory birds

What a great website!

Spring Alive is an international project to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds and to get them to take action for birds and other wildlife…’
There are games and colouring activities on the website too. Click HERE to see.

Lavandera blanca (Motacilla alba) Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

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Project Hyacinth

Day 365+7 Wouter de Bruijn via Compfight
In every classroom in the school ‘PROJECT HYACINTH’ has started to bloom. In late November, the parents from the Gardening Committee delivered a hyacinth bulb to every classroom. They have been sitting in water in glass jars under little cardboard ‘hats’ to fool them into blooming. The first thing we noticed were little white roots growing down into the water. If we lift the ‘hats’ we can see a little green shoot. We are excited to have the hyacinths growing in our classrooms. We wonder what colour ours will be. We would like to thank the Gardening Committee for our hyacinths: ‘the gift that keeps on giving’.
Click on THIS LINK to see the beginning of the story and HERE to see February’s update.

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A New Arrival to Our School Grounds – A Beautiful Silver Birch

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Renewed thanks to our exceptional gardening committee. They are forever coming up with great ideas to make our school an even better place to be. As well as looking after the school grounds, they do so much more.

  • For example they showed students how to grow vegetables and harvested them.
  • They have created a special outdoor classroom.
  • They commissioned a ‘Buddy Bench’ (made from recycled wooden pallets) where children who have no one to play with can sit until their friends find them.
  • The Gardening Committee caused great excitement when they put a special Halloween scarecrow in the school garden.
  • In this bleak mid winter, they gave each class a hyacinth for the teacher’s desk to bring sunshine to our classrooms.
  • Recently they planted a silver birch trees in the school grounds. Michael the school caretaker helped.

We think the silver birch was a great choice as it is beautiful all year round.

  • In Winter, even though it is deciduous and has no leaves the colour of its bark and the patterns on it are beautiful.
  • In Spring the leaves are a fresh light green and these darken as the year turns to Summer.
  • Then in Autumn the silver birch is colourful with vibrant yellow leaves.
  • Then there are the 500 or so insect species that use the silver birch as a habitat all year round.

Many thanks to the Gardening Committee for another super addition to our school grounds.

We have very little space, but with thought and imagination it has been made a much greener and better place to be.

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Trees in our School Grounds – The Umbrella Tree

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We have an Umbrella Tree in our school yard. In the Summer when there are lots of leaves, it really works. If you go under it when it is raining you stay dry.

We think it is a weeping willow. It is very beautiful. In Spring there are catkins on the tree. Catkins are furry flowering spikes that hang down. They are soft to touch, but much better not to pick them but to leave them to grow. The catkins fall off and the leaves grow then. It is a good looking and interesting tree.

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Have you heard about the ‘Mountain of the Butterflies’?

This is a link to today’s Google Doodle commemorating the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the mountain of the butterflies.

It was in 1975 that the overwintering place of the monarch butterfly was discovered. The butterflies were found inthe Sierra Madre Mountains in Eastern Mexico. You can read more about how the millions of monarchs cling to the oyamel trees here.image

 

The monarch butterfly is under threat due to climate change and destruction of forests in Mexico, where the species migrates to from the the US and Canada in winter.

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Read all about it: New Study: A Pine Marten revival is bad news for Grey Squirrels which is good news for Red Squirrels!

A study has found that a revival in the number of pine martens in Ireland,

American marten (Martes americana), juvenile female, Lassen National Forest, Northern CA (1)
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Tatiana Gettelman via Compfight

has meant there are less grey squirrels

Squirrel I
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Lawrence OP via Compfight

which is good news for red squirrels.

Curious red squirrel
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Niko Kähkönen via Compfight

Click on this link to read “Population crash in an invasive species following the recovery of a native predator: the case of the American grey squirrel and the European pine marten in Ireland” by Emma Sheehy & Colin Lawton  published in ‘Biodiversity and Conservation’.

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Green Schools: The World In Our Hands

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Photo Credit: Suus Wansink via Compfight

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved

in the past 40 years, according to a new report.

The reasons for this include pollution,

the destruction of habitats

and animals being killed for food.

 

So playing a part in keeping the world green

has never been so important.

Think about how you can play your part.

Remember ‘The Power of One’.

You know ways you can reduce pollution.

Tell others about this.

You know about creating habitats.

You could ask your parents

to let a corner of your garden grow wild.

This would encourage bees, butterflies

and other wild life.

Every little helps.

The world is in our hands.

You can read the Living Planet report here.

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Biodiversity: The Raising of Our Green School Flag

On June 19th, 2014, we were proud to fly our fifth Green School Flag. Niall Hatch from Bird Watch Ireland had come to speak to the classes before about the diversity of our native bird life. This talk had proved very popular and we were delighted that Niall could come to help us raise our new Green School Flag. Thanks once again to Fiona our Green Schools Co-ordinator for organizing EVERYTHING 🙂

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Green Flag Award Ceremony!

St Brigid’s Green school representatives went to the Helix to attend the Green Flag Award ceremony.

We were delighted to be receive a certificate and awarded our 5th flag for Biodiversity.

Well done and thank you to everyone who made it happen.

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Good Things That Happened When Wolves Reintroduced To A Habitat

Hungry like the...
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Valerie via Compfight

When we were learning about Biodiversity earlier in the year, we learned a lot about food webs and food chains.. Then we learned about the snow leopard. We learned what would happen to its food web and its habitat if it became extinct.

We found a really interesting video that we think you may be interested in. It is on Vimeo so you can watch it in class. Made by Greg Haines, it tells about the good things that happened to the food web and the habitat in Yellowstone Park when wolves were reintroduced. We think you will like it.

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Great News!!!

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An Taisce has great pleasure in informing you that your application for the International Green Flag Award has been………….

                       successful!

In other words, we got our Green Flag for Biodiversity!

Congratulations to all the students and staff for all your hard work on Biodiversity.

A BIG thank you and well done to all the Green Schools committee, Ms. Breen, Ms. Beausang  and Ms. Carwood.

The Green Flag award ceremony will take place on May 20th. More details to follow.

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Green Schools: Biodiversity: Can we help you?

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We feel this blog could be helpful for other schools

that are starting out working towards the 5th Green Flag.

On this blog you can see some ideas

that you might find useful.

e.g. our mascot: Brigid the Biodiversity Bee,

adopting Qeimo the Snow Leopard

and collaborating with other schools.

For example, we had an ‘Eat Locally Day’ and a ‘Less Waste Day’ in parallel with a school in Belgium.

St. Peter’s in Bray sent us Polly the Polar Bear so we can learn about threats to both this species.

All these activities are recorded in our blog.

Put any of the highlighted words from above in the search box

and you can read all about them.

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