This April's newsletter is a beast! As the Spring sunshine brings energy to the plants and animals around us, it seems it's also encouraged everyone to organise events and meet ups all across the country!

Get ready for coastal community training days starting this Saturday in Donegal, Mayo, Sligo and Galway, a heap of sustainable living workshops and courses taking place in Dublin, community clean ups in Leitrim and Meath, and the start of a series of environment themed talks in Wexford. Meet the candidates for the European Elections in Dublin, or take part in cross boundary biodiversity conversations online. These are only April's events! Have a look at our list below for a preview of May and June too!

This month I'd like to highlight two new special awards for Tidy Towns, sponsored by Bat Conservation Ireland. Both awards provide funding for artistic community projects with a focus on bats. Apply by June 5th!

Lots more below for this month. Enjoy!

All the best,



Local News

  • Leitrim Environmental Network events and newsletter
  • Wexford Environmental Network
  • Wicklow PPN members gather to meet the Climate and Environment Team in Wicklow County Council


  • See 'Quick Guide to Events'

News and Announcements

  • The Big Toy Swap
  • Public Participation Networks. Spotlight on Meath, Roscommon, Clare

Surveys & Petitions

  • Still open: Help Save Our Hawthorn Trees
  • Still open: Marine Protected Area Law


  • Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Offaly Biodiversity Action Plan

Funding Opportunities

  • Bat Conservation Ireland sponsors two Tidy Towns Special Awards

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Helping Bats in Kerry - training day April 20th


  • Find out more about IEN member groups

Quick Guide to Events


  • From April 6th @ 9am: Beaches and Dunes for Climate Adaptation: Training for Communities - Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo
  • 6th @ 10am: Demonstration Workshop: Intro to Furniture Upholstery - Dublin
  • 6th @ 10am: Free Seed Swap - Dublin
  • 6th @ 2pm: Demonstration Workshop: Intro to Furniture Restoration - Dublin
  • 7th @ 9.30am: Drumshanbo Community Cleanup - Leitrim
  • 8th - 29th @ 6pm: Four week evening course: Rework Your Wardrobe - Dublin
  • 8th - 29th @ 6pm: Four week evening course: Furniture Upholstery - Dublin
  • 9th @ 7pm: Local Environmental Conversations - Wexford
  • 12th @ 10am: All Island Civil Society Forum on the Environment. Session 2: Biodiversity. - Online
  • 18th @ 6.30pm: Meet the Candidates - Dublin
  • 20th @ 10am: Fashion Revolution at the Rediscovery Centre - Dublin
  • 20th @ 10am: Foraging, Wild Foods and Herbal Extraction Workshop - Dublin
  • 26th @ 10am (& the last Friday of each month): Boyne Estuary Clean Up - Meath
  • 27th @ 10am: Furniture Revamping Workshop - Dublin


  • 11th @ 11am: Connecting Through Our Shared Landscape - Roscommon
  • 17th - 26th: National Biodiversity Week - Nationwide
  • 24th - 26th: Whale Watching Course - West Cork


  • 8th & 9th: Irish Forest School Association Summer Gathering - Save the Date announcement

Local News

Leitrim Environmental Network

Events and Newsletter

Leitrim Environmental Network are creating an information resource of environmental related county events, online webinars for members and the general public to attend if interested. For more information Click to view the calendar


We are also currently developing a general update newsletter to get this information and project updates for 2024 directly to you. If you would like to be added to that newsletter, you can subscribe HERE.


Wexford Environmental Network

Join Wexford Environmental Network to take action for climate and biodiversity in Wexford!


On Monday last 24th March Green Party MEP Grace O'Sullivan, met with local groups in Gorey, including Wexford Environmental Network. WEN discussed ongoing projects as well as concerns and Grace shared the work she is doing at an EU level in terms of championing nature and environmental issues.

Learn more about Wexford EN on their website, or meet them at their upcoming series of monthly talks in Gorey Library, starting Tuesday April 9th at 7pm.


The speakers and themes are; 


Natash Ariff - Nature Based Solutions In An Urban Context

Ann Walsh - Embracing Ecological Identity

Susanna D'Ascenzi - Edible Towns Project

Karin Dubsky - Citizen Science, Nitrates, and You

Dr. Christine Mullen Jensen - Sites of Action

Pictured from left to right are, WEN members Roisin Markham, Sussan D'Ascenzi, Natasha Ariff, Claire McCreesh, Grace O'Sullivan MEP, and Ann Walsh WEN member.

PPN Members Meet the Wicklow County Council Climate Team

On Saturday 23rd March Wicklow Public Participation Network (PPN) welcomed member groups from across the county to An Tairseach Organic Farm & Ecology Centre to meet the Wicklow County Council Climate Action Team. 


The members of the Climate Action Team present on the day included Mark Costello, Climate Action Coordinator, Jim Callery, Climate Action Officer, Julie Sammiller, Community Climate Action Officer, and Sarah Rubalcava, Environmental Awareness Officer. Each individual team member described their role and participants were given an insight to their areas of expertise and their current and future work. 


Jim Callery presented the new Climate Action Plan outlining work programmes under the five core themes of the plan.


Julie updated participants on the Community Climate Action Fund, thanking all the community groups that submitted applications. She informed the meeting that a process of screening and evaluation of project applications has commenced within the local authority and this process is expected to conclude in early May. Following the evaluation in Wicklow, a list of recommended projects will be forwarded to the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment for departmental consideration. It is expected that applicants which have been deemed successful will be notified by late summer/ early autumn.


Mark advised those present of the new Biodiversity Officer, Hannah O’ Kelly, who unfortunately could not attend on the day, and provided information about her work.


Participants also got to meet Breege Kilkenny, Director of Services and Marc Devereux, Senior Engineer for Climate, Environment, Recreation and Amenity.


Grainne Quinn from Wicklow PPN said “It was wonderful to meet so many people and learn about the amazing work that community groups are doing to try to mitigate against climate change and biodiversity loss. The information sharing and interaction between the community groups and the local authority staff was very encouraging, and we hope the networking and peer support between the groups continues. Wicklow PPN will continue to facilitate these connections going forward”.


Join Wicklow PPN at future events by registering your group here. It's completely free to join your PPN!


Leave No Trace Ireland launch new course to empower local communities to protect their coast

Multiple dates - 9am to 5pm

Locations: Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo

Leave No Trace Ireland, in partnership with the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) at the University of Galway and the Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Training Board (MSLETB), announces the launch of a new two-day course geared towards empowering local communities to safeguard their coastal environments.

The ‘Beaches & Dunes for Climate Adaptation course’ will emphasize the vital role of sand dune ecosystems in coastal protection and habitat preservation.

Course dates are as follows:

Fanad Peninsula, Co Donegal: 6th April and 8th June

Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal: 7th April and 9th June

Dog’s Bay, Co Galway: 27th April and 18th May

Keel, Achill Island, Co Mayo: 28th April and 12th May

Dunmoran, Co Sligo, 11th May and 19th May

It aims to equip participants with essential knowledge and tools to ensure the longevity and health of local sand dune systems. The training courses will take place at five locations along the Wild Atlantic Way between April and June and be delivered by Susan Adams from Education for Sustainability CLG.

Through a series of interactive modules, participants will delve into topics ranging from assessing dune health to practical techniques like Marram Grass Planting. The course will blend classroom-based sessions with hands-on practical training, providing a comprehensive learning experience.

Register here

Demonstration Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Upholstery

April 6th - 10am


Curious about furniture upholstery? Join Nessa Doran O'Reilly at the Rediscovery Centre and get a firsthand look at how it's done. Watch Nessa as she breathes new life into furniture and guides you through the basics, with plenty of room for your questions.

Get your tickets here

Free Seed Swap at the Rediscovery Centre

April 6th - 10am


Join us at the Rediscovery Centre for our annual Seed Swap! Connect with others who are passionate about seeds, regardless of your gardening experience or space.

This event is perfect for non-gardeners, new gardeners, experienced seed savers, and anyone interested in seeds. Whether you have a flower pot, a balcony, waste ground, a small or large garden, a community or school garden, or just an interest in seeds, join us!

Any leftover seeds will support the Ballymun Biodiversity program.

Get your tickets here

Demonstration Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Restoration

April 6th -2pm


See how worn-out furniture becomes like new again! Join Nessa Doran O'Reilly at the Rediscovery Centre for a fun look into restoration. She'll show you the ropes, and you can ask anything you'd like. Nessa will be fixing things up, but you get to dive in with your questions!

Get your tickets here

Drumshanbo Community Cleanup

April 7th - 9.30am


Leitrim Local Environmental Network will be supporting Drumshanbo Tidy Towns on their Community Cleanup on Sunday April 7th as part An Taisce National Spring Clean.

We are going to help out with litter picking along some of the waterways and trails around Drumshanbo on Sunday morning from 9.30am. You are welcome to join us for a Sunday ramble and litter pick along Leitrim's beautiful trails.

We will meet Drumshanbo Tidy towns at the old petrol station from 9.30am and collect litter bags, hi viz vest and litter pickers. You can also bring your own. If you arrive later, please message on social media and we can meet up.

If other Tidy Towns groups in county Leitrim would like support with litter picks or environmental projects, please get in contact with us on social media or email: leitrimen@gmail.com

More info here or email leitrimen@gmail.com

NEW Four Week Evening Course: Rework Your Wardrobe

April 8th - 6pm


Do you have a piece of clothing you'd like to transform?

Join our course and over four evenings Rediscover Fashion's Arran Murphy will lead you through the upcycling process. From inspiration and design, deconstruction and fabric harvesting, alterations, and repairs to sewing tips and techniques, Arran will be there every step of the way to help you bring your upcycling ideas to life.

The course will run every Monday night from the 8th April to the 29th April, 6 to 8.30pm.

Get your tickets here

NEW Four Week Evening Course: Furniture Upholstery

April 8th - 6pm


Join Nessa at the Rediscovery Centre for an exciting hands-on course in upholstery! Perfect for beginners keen on learning upholstery and transforming their own piece of furniture.

With Nessa's expert guidance, you'll complete your project and gain skills to tackle future upholstery endeavors. Our classes are small, and limited to just 6 participants. Due to the limited spots early booking is recommended to secure your spot. All essential materials and equipment will be provided.

You're welcome to bring your own project, though it's not mandatory. If you choose to bring one, you'll have a finished piece to take home. Feel free to bring any item you like—it doesn't have to be a chair. However, keep in mind that for the four-session course, it's best if the project isn't too large or complex. If you're unsure about what project to bring, reach out to Nessa at nessa@rediscoverycentre.ie for guidance. Remember, you'll need to take your item with you at the end of each session.

Join us for a fun and creative upholstery experience! The course will run every Monday night from the 8th April to the 29th April, 6 to 8.30pm.

Get your tickets here

Local Environmental Conversations 

April 9th - 7pm


Gorey Library is hosting a series of talks organised by Wexford Environmental Network on the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm, for five months, starting next Tuesday 9th April.


The speakers and themes are; 


Natash Ariff - Nature Based Solutions In An Urban Context

Ann Walsh - Embracing Ecological Identity

Susanna D'Ascenzi - Edible Towns Project

Karin Dubsky - Citizen Science, Nitrates, and You

Dr. Christine Mullen Jensen - Sites of Action

For more information email wexforden@gmail.com

All Island Civil Society Forum on the Environment, Session 2 - Biodiversity

April 12th - 10am


Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) and the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) are delighted to develop and deliver a series of five facilitated thematic dialogues and a final in-person networking forum between January and September 2024.

The main purpose of this project is to promote and deepen cooperation and dialogue between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland ENGOs and environmental civil society groups in order that the sector be equipped to fully engage with, and respond to, the new environmental regulatory and governance context post-Brexit.

Following on from a very successful first session with over 60 people attending and which considered why deeper dialogue and cooperation between environmental organisations in Ireland and Northern Ireland is necessary and discussed with participants the key issues, this second session will look at Biodiversity.

Click here for more information and to register

Meet the Candidates for the 2024 European Elections

April 16th - 6.30pm


Join us on April 18th 2024, to meet Ireland’s candidates for the 2024 European elections.

2024 is a bumper year of elections around the world and in Europe, candidates from across the political spectrum will be seeking your vote. In Ireland, June 7th is polling day where we will choose who will represent Ireland in the next European Parliament.

Are you ready to learn more about the candidates running in the upcoming European Elections and what they promise to do to progress sustainable development if elected? Then join us at the ‘Meet the Candidates! European Election Hustings on Sustainable Development‘, moderated by Irish Times journalist Kevin O’Sullivan.

At the event you’ll have the chance to hear directly from the candidates themselves. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions, discuss important issues, and make an informed decision when it comes time to vote. Don’t miss out on this chance to be an informed voter.

Join us on April 18th from 6.30pm at the Radisson Royal Blu Hotel Dublin, as candidates from across the political spectrum are questioned on what they will do to progress sustainable development if elected.

How will they ensure Europe gets closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How will they represent the views of Ireland’s citizens? And how will they work towards a Europe that meets the needs of all within the confines of the planet?

Get your ticket here

Fashion Revolution at the Rediscovery Centre

April 20th - 10am


Join us for our FREE Fashion Revolution Week Event on Saturday April 20th.

Our Rediscover Fashion team, led by Arran Murphy, will give you an introduction on how to green your wardrobe with hands-on repair and upcycling activities. Our event will begin with a ‘How To Green Your Wardrobe’ presentation with Arran Murphy, Programme manager of Rediscover Fashion.

The presentation will be followed by hands-on upcycling activities where the Rediscover Fashion team will show you how to upcycle using creative repair techniques, basic alterations and embellishments. The event will be accompanied by a pop-up charity shop hosted by Barnardos. This event is kindly supported by Dublin City Council.

Book your place here

Foraging, Wild Foods and Herbal Extraction Workshop

April 20th - 10am


Take yourself on a captivating journey with Wild Sióg, a standout finalist in the 2021 International 'Free From' Skincare awards.

Returning to the Rediscovery Centre, this workshop delves into the art of foraging, unraveling the medicinal secrets of Irish wild herbs, and unveiling the diverse techniques of herbal extraction. Hedgerows, adorned with Hips, Haws, and Berries, become the classroom for an immersive experience.

Delight your palate with a curated array of wild food samples provided as a unique part of this enriching workshop. Participants not only gain knowledge but tangible takeaways: a specially crafted booklet brimming with inspiring recipes to try at home and a beautifully hand-rolled beeswax candle. This event is a treasure trove for those intrigued by natural remedies, wild foods, and sustainable gifting.

Get your tickets here

Furniture Revamping Workshop

April 27th - 10am


Join Marianne, The Revamp Tramp, and learn how to prepare and paint your furniture, exploring various techniques such as decoupage, stenciling, glazing and distressing.

Bring a piece of small furniture with you and discover how to plan and complete your design, leaving the workshop with a fully finished piece of revamped furniture. All materials are supplied on the day to help transform your chosen piece of furniture into something truly special. Your only task is to bring the furniture item you'd like to revamp.

Free parking will be available at the venue. Lunch is not included but there is a Café at the Rediscovery Centre. This workshop is suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to those wanting to learn new furniture revamping techniques. For inquiries or assistance in choosing the right furniture piece, contact Marianne at Marianne@TheRevampTramp.ie. Note: This workshop is open to ages 16 and above.

Get your tickets here

Events with Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland

WRI is currently working on many events, with the next one being a talk for the East Meath Active Retirement Association. Following that we will be visiting Temple Street Children's Hospital to do 3 talks on Irish wildlife for patients and staff. There will be a webinar for vets coming soon and a course for members of the public. As always, we have our clean up of the Boyne Estuary on the last Friday of every month.

More information here

Connecting Through Our Shared Landscape

May 11th - 11am


Explore a unique hidden landscape that has shaped our history, myths, folklore and our connection to the land over thousands of years. Join us for a guided tour of the karst landscape of South Roscommon, and discover the plants and animals that live here.

Join the Irish Environmental Network and the Uí Máine Kingdom Group this May 11th to discover this magical landscape, celebrate our connections to the land, and explore what actions we can take to protect this unique habitat for future generations. Meet others who work and share the interest in biodiversity and natural history. Share experiences of your work, find out what actions are being taken at a local level, and rejuvenate your spirit. Learn more about how you can take action for biodiversity and climate on a policy level, and hear from our line up of speakers.

Register here

National Biodiversity Week 2024

May 17th - 26th


This May we celebrate and explore Ireland's rich biodiversity with events and activities for the whole family! From May 17th - 26th there will be FREE events all over the country from IEN members, Biodiversity Officers and Heritage Officers.

While we're getting ready for this exciting week, we will be sharing information on biodiversity on our social media channels. Introducing biodiversity, the threats to nature, projects that are making a difference, resources and guides, inspirational videos and campaigns, and more! Follow us on Facebook, TwitterX, or Instagram to keep up to date with upcoming events. Tag your events and news with #BiodiversityWeek2024.

Read more about Biodiversity Week at www.biodiversityweek.ie.

Whale Watching Courses

The Irish Whale & Dolphin Group is delighted to announce their return to the wonderful CECAS Ctr, in Leap, West Cork, for their 2024 summer series of Residential weekend whale watching courses. Participants will attend a series of indoor presentations and guided land-based watches, during which they will learn the field-skills required to observe, identify and record these magnificent marine mammals. Incorporated into the weekend will be a 4-5hr boat trip with our partners at Cape Clear Ferries. The first of these two courses is May 24-26th.

Book May 24th - 26th

Book Sept 20th - 22nd

Irish Forest School Association Summer Gathering - Save the Date

June 8th & 9th


IFSA are delighted to announce the dates for their 5th annual AGM and Annual Gathering that will take place in Co. Galway at the beautiful Slieve Aughty Centre

There are lots of great workshops in store for you!

More information and booking details to follow soon!

Keep up to date with this event here

News and Announcements

New Project: The Big Toy Swap!

Children love their toys, and their planet. They don’t want one to pollute the other - but toys are the world’s most plastic-intensive industry, producing significant amounts of both CO2 and plastic waste. So Jiminy Eco Toys and the Rediscovery Centre have joined forces to empower kids to team-up and take action through the Big Toy Swap!

As part of the Big Toy Swap, Jiminy and the Rediscovery Centre will conduct 100 fun, interactive workshops for primary schools and youth groups across Ireland. When groups sign-up to their Big Toy Swap Workshops, they commit to hosting a Big Toy Swap in their school or community space on 5th June, joining schools and groups all across the country in the largest sustainable toy festival ever seen!

Schools will be equipped with comprehensive resources to host their own “Big Toy Swap’’, including how-to guides on toy swap and repair, event organisation, and curriculum integration, plus practical resources like printable posters and images/blurbs for school newsletters.

The goal of the Big Toy Swap is to provide a fun and sustainable way for children and families to refresh their toy collections without spending money on new toys, and at the same time to reduce waste by giving unwanted toys a new home.

If you're not eligible for a workshop, but would like to run your own Big Toy Swap in your community or workplace, contact communications@rediscoverycentre.ie for your own Big Toy Swap guide!

More info

Public Participation Networks

Local Change for Global Impact

Are you involved with a local group that focuses on issues of climate, environment, biodiversity or sustainability? Would you like to make change in your area, meet other local groups, and hear local news and funding opportunities?

Join your Public Participation Network for all this and more! The PPNs support local groups to shape better decision-making in communities by connecting them with their local authority. They are powerful change making tools, and need groups who can be a voice for the local environment.

If you're not part of an existing environmental group, check out the list of members on the PPN websites. Find an environmental group that interests you and join them in their work. This way you can also get involved in the PPN!

Find your local PPN here.

PPN Spotlight


Environmental groups include Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, Meath Environmental Protection Alliance, Wild About Navan, Trim Sustainable Energy Community, Gaelic Woodland Project, Navan Cycling Initiative and more!

Add your group today!

Join Meath PPN


Meet environmental groups such as An Taisce Northwest, Plastic Free Roscommon, Cycle Up Club, Ballinlough Environmental Committee, UI Maine kingdom and more!

Join one of these groups as an individual to get involved in your PPN, or add you group to the Network below.

Join Roscommon PPN


Clare PPN includes groups such as Burren Ecotourism Network, Futureproof Clare, Shannon Wetlands Restoration Project, GIY Kilrush, Sustainable Clarecastle, and more!

Add your group to the PPN and join them in being a voice for the environment.

Join Clare PPN

Petitions & Surveys

Help save our Hawthorn Trees!

We need your help! Please sign our open letter calling for urgent government action on the danger of Fireblight to Ireland's hedgerows. This disease is carried on imported trees and infects Hawthorn, which must then be destroyed as there is no cure.

Learn more about Fireblight and sign the Letter here

Marine Protected Area Law

Add your name to call on Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Irish government to enact a strong marine protected area law without delay.

Please sign our petition today and share. >>> https://only.one/act/30x30-ireland


Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan

Deadline: 5pm April 17th

A new Biodiversity Action Plan is being prepared for Westmeath in partnership with the Heritage Council. The Plan will set out Westmeath County Council’s statement of intent in relation to the natural heritage and biodiversity of the County. It will include a number of actions to ensure effective conservation of our natural heritage and will raise awareness of biodiversity in partnership with local communities over the next six years.

The Council invite you to get involved and help shape the content of the Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan. We want to hear your views on what aspects of biodiversity you want to see celebrated and conserved in the plan and what issues are important to you.

Pre-Draft Consultation on The Westmeath Biodiversity Action Plan 2024 – 2030 has commenced and runs until 17th April. Read the Issues Paper and have your say via the consultation portal: https://bit.ly/4a3vjl6

Offaly Biodiversity Action Plan 2025-2030

Deadline: 5pm April 24th

Offaly County Council has commenced the process and plans to finalise the county Biodiversity Action Plan by the end of 2024.

It is important for you to share your views on what is important to you in terms of local biodiversity.

You know your area best!

Sharing your views helps identify local issues and needs and will help identify and develop the

actions required to protect and enhance biodiversity in County Offaly. Don’t assume someone else has put forward a proposed action. Recurrent submission on topics can also further demonstrate the want and need for certain actions to be included in the draft plan.

Click here for more information

Funding Opportunities

Bat Conservation Ireland Sponsorship of 2 Tidy Towns Special Awards!

As part of the TidyTowns Special Awards competition, Bat Conservation Ireland are sponsoring two awards. The first award is to sponsor a playground sculpture or artwork that highlights the importance of bats in the Irish ecosystem second award is to sponsor a public art mural or street artwork that highlights the importance of bats in the Irish ecosystems.

Closing date for entries June 5th

Click here more information and to apply

Volunteer Opportunities

Helping Bats in Kerry

Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) is seeking help from volunteers this summer to count lesser horseshoe bats emerging from its Kerry reserves. Fourteen emergence counts will take place between the end of May to the beginning of July as part of the National Monitoring Programme for this species, which is led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

VWT will run a special training event about this volunteering opportunity in Kenmare on Saturday April 20th. Please email the Trust’s Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer, Laura, at laura.lawrance-owen@vwt.org.uk for more information.

Find out more here

Find out more about the work of IEN members

The Irish Environmental Network has 34 nationally active members, who work on a wide variety of environmental, biodiversity and sustainability issues.

You can read more about their work, get involved, or sign up to their newsletters to hear directly from them on their websites.

See all members here