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Saturday 3 December 2016

Wild at heart in Laois

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

John Troy, Clonaslee Tidy Towns; Laois Heritage Officer Catherine Casey; LCC Tidy Towns facilitator Ann-Marie Kelly and Ecologist Dr Fiona MacGowan at Heritage House Abbeyleix for the launch of the Local Biodiversity Action Plans for Attanagh, Clonaslee, Mountmellick, Portlaoise and Shanahoe. Photo: Alf Harvey.
John Troy, Clonaslee Tidy Towns; Laois Heritage Officer Catherine Casey; LCC Tidy Towns facilitator Ann-Marie Kelly and Ecologist Dr Fiona MacGowan at Heritage House Abbeyleix for the launch of the Local Biodiversity Action Plans for Attanagh, Clonaslee, Mountmellick, Portlaoise and Shanahoe. Photo: Alf Harvey.

Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs) are likely to become more popular because of increasing public awareness of biodiversity says the recently appointed chief executive of Laois County Council, John Mulholland.

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He was speaking at the launch of Plans for the five Laois communities of Attanagh, Clonaslee, Mountrath, Portlaoise and Shanahoe last week, which were jointly funded by Laois County Council and the Heritage Council.

This project is a further development of a 2013 initiative by Laois Partnership, under which plans were published for Abbeyleix, Ballacolla, Cullahill, Emo, Killenard, Mountmellick and Portarlington.

John Mulholland also complimented the plans' author, consultant ecologist Dr Fiona MacGowan for the way in which she had taken complex issues and converted them into simple steps that could be readily implemented by local communities.

The plans aim to act as a guide for communities to manage their surroundings in terms of the conservation, enhancement and enjoyment of local biodiversity.

Among the measures which can be taken to improve biodiversity are delaying grass cutting, reducing herbicide use, planting wildflower meadows, construction of bug hotels, planting native trees, shrubs and a community orchard.

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