Over €200,000 for 22 biodiversity projects across Laois and Offaly
Over €200,000 for 22 biodiversity projects across Laois and Offaly through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF).
Over €80,000 is being awarded to Laois County Council and €120,000 is being awarded to Offaly County Council under the fund.
The heritage teams in both Counties are doing a fantastic job to protect and promote our wonderful native wildlife and plant life. This funding supports that work and many of the projects. In Offaly, funding will go towards projects like the work at Syngefield Demesne and protection of the barn owl population and in Laois for Biodiversity training for County Council staff and awareness on the Portlaoise Orbital Route.
Operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Local Biodiversity Action Fund was first launched in 2018 and supports actions in the 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP). This year the funding allocated to Offaly Council is more than double the amount awarded in 2022.
It seems fitting that the first year Offaly has a Biodiversity Officer, the funding under this scheme is doubled and I look forward to a Biodiversity Officer being in place in Laois very soon.
In order to protect our native species it is really important to contain invasive species and most of us have heard of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. But there are other invasive species which are recently arrived and probably less familiar to us. I am delighted to see that Offaly is joining with 7 other local authorities to monitor the Quagga mussel invasive species in the Shannon. One I am not familiar with is the alpine newt and note that an amount of €4,800 is allocated for monitoring their presence in Offaly.
I am particularly delighted to see the Council’s engagement with people in sharing the joys of our native species. In both Laois and Offaly, funding of €6,375 is allocated to pollinator awareness radio ads and in Offaly, €4,250 for citizen science and engagement.
See the full list of the projects to receive funding below;