Cumann na Daoine

A community based organisation in Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Heritage News from Cork County Council

Tá súil agam go bhfuil cursaí go maith libh.  

We are in the midst of Seachtain na Gaeilge; today is World Wildlife Day, next Monday is International Women’s Day and National Tree Week commences in just a few weeks’ time. There have been many significant heritage announcements in recent days with many grant schemes underway such as the Heritage Council’s Community Grants Scheme and there are some exciting events to look forward to in March. One of these is an online Natural Heritage Gardening Course being provided through the support of Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit.

This heritage news email contains possibly the biggest number of updates yet in any one email, testament to the wonderful and exciting heritage work being done by people, communities and organisations ar fud na tíre, ach go háirithe anseo i gContae Chorcaí (especially here in the County of Cork!).

Applications are now Invited for the Heritage Council’s 2021 Heritage Grant Scheme 

The Heritage Council has allocated in the region of €1,000,000 to its Community Grant Scheme 2021, which is now open for applications. The aim of the scheme is to support capital projects that improve access and inclusion to heritage sites and that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, or objects (including buildings). The scheme also supports the purchase of essential equipment. This scheme is intended to enable communities and heritage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to continue their work in this area or to start new initiatives. Projects that begin after the grant offer date in early May, and are completed by 8th October 2021 can be considered for funding under this scheme.

The scheme is open to voluntary and community groups; heritage-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), not-for-profit heritage organisations, Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) participants and Adopt a Monument Programme participants. Applications from other organisations, private companies or individuals will not be considered.

To apply submit your application via The Heritage Council’s Online Grants System by Monday 29th March 2021 at 5pm. Applications or supporting documents cannot be submitted after this time. Full details are located on the Heritage Council’s website by visiting


€1.35 Million Announced for Local Authority Biodiversity Projects on World Wildlife Day   

Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has today, World Wildlife Day (March 3rd 2021), announced that over €1.35 million will be made available to local authorities in the Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme for projects which tackle Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and to carry out actions in the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 (NBAP). First launched in 2018, funding for the grant scheme has been increased from €700,000 in 2020. The scheme comprises two streams: a €500,000 fund for projects tackling Invasive Alien Species (IAS), including species which are included on the EU IAS list of Union concern, and €850,000 for other maintenance, restoration and awareness-raising projects under actions in the National Biodiversity Action Plan. The scheme is operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and offers funding to assist local authority biodiversity officers and heritage officers in local authorities without a biodiversity officer with the implementation of projects that promote actions contained in the Plan.

In 2020, 30 Local Authorities used the Scheme to carry out over 50 projects that promoted actions in the NBAP. The National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 and its Interim Report is available in English or Irish at . For further information, queries can be sent to

Growing Together Online – Spring Gardening Course for County Cork    

This Spring Cork County Council is offering an online gardening course open to all residents, representatives of Tidy Towns groups, Residents Associations, Green Schools Coordinators and Community Groups in County Cork.

The practical “hands-on” gardening course led by Horticulturist Aoife Munn will cover topics such as reducing your waste, growing your own vegetables, planting for pollinators, alternatives to chemicals and much more. Each week participants will sow seeds, prick them out and look at planting techniques, as well as learning about organic growing.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, commending the initiative saying,

“Many studies have shown the benefits of gardening for both physical and mental wellbeing, positively impacting mood and helping with anxiety and depression. The great thing about growing food is that, with a little help, we can all do it and that is empowering. This gardening course organised by Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit is that helping hand to get us started. A great opportunity to learn new things, get healthy, enjoy our natural heritage and encourage biodiversity. It’s a win-win!”

The five-week course will be held on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm, beginning on March 18th and applicants must be able to attend all dates to secure a place on the course.

Please note spaces are limited. To secure a FREE place, email with your name, general location (nearest town) and your associated group (if any) prior to 5pm on Thursday 11th March 2021.

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021 

‘Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia is an international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many other countries’ ( Each year it takes place from March 1st to 17th and there is always a range of different activities and events to engage in.

Whether fluent or if one only has the cúpla focail, Seachtain na Gaeilge is a great opportunity to take pride in our language and learn what it means to people. Indeed, the Irish language in the County of Cork fairs strongly with two wonderful Gaeltachts (Múscraí agus Oileán Chléire) and more and more people throughout the County are upping their Irish skills – people now tend to hear Irish anywhere at all in the County and not just in our Gaeltachts, be they in Fermoy or Youghal or indeed Bantry or Dromina. Voluntary and community groups, local authorities, schools, libraries, and music, sports, arts and culture organisations all have the opportunity to get involved in Seacthain na Gaeilge. Visit for more information and to see what is happening locally.

Update from SECAD’s Wild Work and Details of World Wildlife Day Event on March 3rd 2021 

As you most likely remember, for World Wildlife Day last year, we had a Wild Work celebration event which was attended by many of you. The event brought together a wide range of people with a passion for nature; and many of those actively involved with the Wild Work movement. It was themed around a report we launched on the day called “30 Months of Wild Work – The story so far”… The interactive report is available on our website.

Since that time we’ve thankfully been able to keep ourselves safe and busy. If you’d like to find out about what we’ve been up to, then I’d highly recommend you check out all the new project videos on our Youtube channel (with many more to come), or maybe have a listen to some of our podcasts; the Student Placement episodes and Wild Workers at Home episodes are definitely worth a listen.

This year, World Wildlife Day is happening again; and as part of the celebration of this important day, SECAD, on behalf of Euracademy, are hosting a webinar and number of related zoom discussion groups on Regenerative and Biodiversity Enriching Agriculture  – with speakers from across Europe including Paul Moore (a farmer based near Midleton) who is involved in a SECAD supported project.

The a seminar is being held from 3pm Irish Time (4pm Central European Time – 4pm CET) on the 3rd March, 2021.

You can register for the event by following this link. SECAD will be in touch with more details shortly after you having registered. If you have any query in the meantime then please email

Date/Time: Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 19:00 
Event: Cork Nature Network Webinar – Let’s Talk About Birds – with Prof. John Quinn, UCC
Location: Online (details below) 
Additional Information: To celebrate World Wildlife Day, Cork Nature Network is delighted to invite all nature lovers to an informative evening with Professor John Quinn.

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Ireland has legal obligations to protect habitats and species that are under threat and need protection across Europe and it hosts some of the most important seabird populations in Europe, however both facts are, either largely unknown or very poorly understood. 

In the event, John Quinn, who is Professor of Zoology at University College Cork, will provide you with an overview of the key findings of his latest bird research as well as help us to understand their needs and the importance for our ecosystem. Prof. Quinn’s interests span a broad range of topics in ecology, evolution and ornithology. Mostly he has worked on birds, across a range of different environments, including marine, coastal, wetland, woodland and agricultural. The event will free and be hosted in Zoom on Wednesday 3rd of March at 7pm. To attend please register at EventBrite.           #GiveNatureAChance

For more information about Cork Nature Network email or visit

Illegal Burning of Lands and Cutting of Hedgerows    

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued advice to farmers and their advisors in relation to agricultural and eligible forestry land which is burnt during the closed season – that is 1 March to 31 August. The Department has now activated its Fire Danger Rating System for the season and advises that Forest owners and managers should check and update fire plans and other relevant contingencies such as insurance, firebreaks, access and water points, and private helicopter contracts etc., so as to be prepared well in advance of high fire risk phases. Rural dwellers should also assess wildfire risks to their properties and prepare accordingly. Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning.  It is also more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside as such activity will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources. The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.

The Department has also reminded farmers of the negative consequences of burning land illegally. If you burn land after the 1st March:

  • there is a risk of prosecution,
  • such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes,
  • inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, for example Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme,
  • illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment, and
  • where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials.

The Department also reminds farmers that the hedge cutting season closed as well on 1 March and will remain so until the 31 August. There is provision in the legislation (section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 as amended by section 46 of the 2000 Amendment Act) for landowners and public authorities to address hedges for road safety reasons at any time of the year.  

The burning of vegetation is controlled by the Wildlife Acts. It is an offence under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Act, 2000) to burn, from 01 March to 31 August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated. Individuals who are found to burn vegetation within that prohibited period are liable to prosecution by An Garda Síochána or by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). DAFM has no role in regard to prosecutions.

Help Your Sports Club Become More Biodiversity-Friendly   

The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) has launched a new pollinator advice leaflet to support local sports clubs in becoming more pollinator friendly. If you are a member of a sports club please support this initiative and help to strengthen County Cork as a safe place for pollinators. To get some tips on how your club could help save our bees go to

Project Woodland 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. and the Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett have announced ‘Project Woodland’, an initiative to tackle issues in forestry in Ireland and drive forward the planting of trees. The Ministers accepted a report on reforming the Irish Forestry Licensing system and committed to its immediate implementation.

Project Woodland is being established by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, under the leadership of Minister Hackett.  It involves four different workstreams working to her through a Project Manager and Project Board. The project Board will be chaired by the Secretary General, Brendan Gleeson. The workstreams will work concurrently, focusing on different areas. The first one will concentrate on the backlog, the second on a vision for forestry, the third on devising a fit for purpose organisational structure, and the fourth on streamlining the licensing process for the future. Each workstream will be supported by a working group made up of stakeholders drawn from the Minister’s existing Forestry Policy Group and will be chaired by an independent, experienced outsider. Minister Hackett also announced an initiative involving communities, explaining that she had asked Irish Rural Link to undertake a study on the effect of forests on communities, she said, “‘I am asking Irish Rural Link to build up on the work done by Aine Ní Dhubháin in UCD a few years ago, to engage with communities, to look at the up and downsides of forests for them as they exist at the moment, and come up with recommendations for the future, which can then be fed into the ‘Shared National Approach’ workstream.”

She added, “If the right tree is planted in the right place, everyone will gain.  Jobs will be supported, communities will enjoy recreation and other benefits, and biodiversity will thrive. That is what I want the legacy of Project Woodland to be.”  


New ‘Success Stories’ Publication on Pollinator Conservation 

Minister Malcolm Noonan is launching a new ‘success stories’ publication to mark the conclusion of the first phase of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020’ shows the big difference that small actions can make by bringing together a selection of case studies to tell the story of how communities, farmers, schools, businesses, local authorities and many others have contributed towards the conservation of Ireland’s pollinators.

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 has achieved considerable impact:

  • The last five years have seen the delivery of all 81 actions identified in the Plan
  • Across all sectors, the number of engaged individuals and organisations continues to increase
  • 55% of all Councils across the island have become partners
  • Hundreds of local communities have embraced the initiative
  • 280 businesses have come on board and agreed to take action
  • A framework by which all farms can become more pollinator-friendly is currently in collaborative development