Answering the call for volunteers were students and their families from St. Gerard’s School in Bray, Newpark Comprehensive, Our Lady’s Girls National School, Mount Anville Junior Montessori School and representatives from Cabinteely Tidy Towns and the Ludford Area Residents Associations. The children of Our Lady’s Girls and Boys National Schools in Ballinteer have also shown their support for the project by planting their own butterfly garden with the assistance of Dale Treadwell whilst students from Mount Anville Junior Montessori School plan to rear butterflies for release in the Marley Grange estate next summer.
Speaking about the event An Cathaoirleach, Councillor Barry Saul said: “It’s wonderful to see community groups taking an active interest in our natural heritage and the Marley Grange Residents Association should be congratulated for their efforts. I’m also pleased that so many volunteers have made it here today to work closely with staff from the Council’s Parks and Environment Departments on this project.”
This is the first of four Biodiversity in Action Projects to be supported by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Other upcoming projects include:
1) Native Fruit Tree Orchard – Shankill Tidy Towns are creating an orchard for rare native fruit trees to ensure these ancient cultivars are protected for many years to come.
2) Kilcross Pollinator Programme – The Kilcross Estate Management Forum will create a pollinator friendly estate as laid out in the National Pollinator Strategy.
3) Brent Geese study – The South Dublin branch of BirdWatch Ireland in association with Blackrock College will be studying the arrivals of Brent Geese and will look to make the campus more nature friendly.
The positive benefits from projects such as the Brimstone Butterfly Conservation Project extend way beyond the benefits for the butterflies themselves and have been highlighted by the University of Calcutta who state that the value a 50 year old tree provides during the course of its lifetime includes:
€30,000 worth of oxygen.
€60,000 worth of pollution control.
€30,000 worth of increased soil fertility and erosion control.
€35,000 worth of water cleaning.
€30,000 worth of natural habitats for our pollinators.
Not to mention the aesthetic beauty and climate control.