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Cathy Lee with staff and students from Castletown NS getting ready to plant their pollinators.

Cathy Lee with staff and students from Castletown NS getting ready to plant their pollinators.

Pollinator Oasis Fiona Byrne From Castletown NS, James Beesley, Cathy Lee, Donal O Keefe, Carmel Duke, Jade Murphy, and Ann Walsh from river group, with the students from Castletown NS helping out with the community pollinator project

Pollinator Oasis Fiona Byrne From Castletown NS, James Beesley, Cathy Lee, Donal O Keefe, Carmel Duke, Jade Murphy, and Ann Walsh from river group, with the students from Castletown NS helping out with the community pollinator project

Pollinator Oasis Cian Breen and Jack Kenny getting ready to plant their pollinators

Pollinator Oasis Cian Breen and Jack Kenny getting ready to plant their pollinators

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Cathy Lee with staff and students from Castletown NS getting ready to plant their pollinators.

goreyguardian

A patch of grass in Castletown has become an oasis for Wexford’s bees and pollinators thanks to the efforts of the pupils of Scoil Ghormain Naofa and the local community. In a project organised by the Ahare River and Biodiversity Development Group (ARBDG) the pupils were invited to visit the area on the Kilgorman Road and plant pollinator friendly seeds to allow visiting bees to flourish and, in turn, nourish the local environment.

Cornflower, cosmos and wild flower seeds were planted and scattered before the children watered the area and than had a picnic as they recovered from their hard day’s graft. Among those participating in the gardening were the students who have joined the school from Ukraine and this area will now be forever known as the Irish and Ukrainian Friendship Garden.

Confirming that they planned to re-plant the garden throughout the seasons to provide food for the bee population, Cathy Lee said this work was vital to preserve the local environment. “While we have over 90 different species of bees in Ireland, many are now under threat through loss of habitat and other challenges. Nature needs our support and we are very happy as a community to rise to meet the challenge and do our bit to help, “ said Cathy, who is Chairperson of the (ARBDG). “The support of Scoil Ghormain Naofa, Wexford County Council, Supervalu Gorey, Beesley Landscapes, LAWPRO and all our Castletown community heroes helped to make this pollinator project possible and we are very grateful to one and all.”

Emer Russell, Principal of Scoil Gormain Naofa Castletown, said the event had proved entertaining and educational for all her young gardeners. "The pupils of Scoil Ghormain Naofa were delighted to be asked to support this local pollinator initiative with Cathy lee and the Ahare River and Biodiversity Development Group as it is a cause close to our hearts. In school we have been working hard to promote Biodiversity in our stunning outdoor space that incorporates a small swamp area, a small woodland with an owl box and there is an active walk way with bird feeders.

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“There is a dedicated meadow patch to encourage wildflower growth. Bug hotels are sited at our our outdoor classroom and the children decorated them to make them more welcoming to our indigenous insects. Our students play an integral role in maintaining these areas and have studied the life cycle of bees as part of SESE curriculum. We also enjoyed planting as part of Amsterdam curriculum- the children really love to feel the soil between their fingers. Outdoor learning is a key facet of school life in Scoil Ghormain Naofa.”

And Ms Russell reserved special praise for the newest members of the school community for their contribution on the day. 

“We are delighted to bring our new Ukrainian pupils to this field trip as we see the benefits of hands on experiential learning for wellbeing. By enabling the children to enjoy learning through nature, we hope that they will be provided with a distraction from any concerns they might have. We find that hands on learning has been an excellent opportunity for interaction with other pupils as the language barrier is diminished through activity."


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