The beginning of Legacy4LIFE
Back in May of this year, just after the official launch of An Taisce’s Legacy4LIFE
project, by Minister Malcolm Noonan, the “Ponds” team jumped headfirst into
National Biodiversity Week. Three events were held to promote L4L and raise
awareness of the wonderful variety of wildlife that inhabits freshwater ponds
including newts, tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs. We also taught attendees how these
species can be used to classify water quality. Over 80 people were welcomed to the
three event sites: “The Grove”, An Taisce’s urban nature reserve on the
Morehampton Road, the Liston Organic Farm in Croom, Co Limerick, and to An
Tairseach Organic Farm, Co. Wicklow.

Heritage Week Events
Summer rapidly sped by, and after attending the National Biodiversity Conference at
Dublin Castle in June, the “Ponds” team collaborated with the Dun Laoghaire-
Rathdown County Council Parks Dept. to facilitate two community educational
outreach events at Marlay and Kilbogett Park. After months of drought, we managed
to pick the two days in late August when the rains finally returned. However, that
didn’t dampen the spirits of the 30+ attendees at both events who got to experience
pond dipping, aquatic invertebrate identification, and a thorough discussion on
invasive plant species (in this case the Water fern, Azolla) and how they, as a
community, might go about trying to eradicate it.

Pond Creation and Management Workshops
As Summer merged into Autumn the Ponds team were once again on the road, this
time to Co. Offaly to take part in the Irish Water/Uisce Eireann Stakeholder Forum.
The highlight of this trip was to the Clonaslee Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW)
to see how grey water generated by the local population of 600 could be cleaned
and filtered by natural means through a series of 9 ponds over 15 acres… incredible,
nature-based solutions for the win!

Late September and early October once again saw the Ponds team getting stuck into
hands-on education and outreach. The Wildacres social enterprise, owned and
managed by Gilly Taylor and Brian O’Toole, in Wicklow hosted a total of four pond
creation workshops that covered the basics of pond creation, management and, of

course, pond dipping! There are more pond creation workshops at Wildlacres
planned for April ’23.

Local Authorities and Engineers
And finally, as Autumn began its descent into Winter, our Pond Development
Officers Aoife and Rob attended the Local Authorities Biodiversity Conference 2022
based in Limerick Strand Hotel. The conference brought together a wide range of
delegates including local authority staff, heritage professionals, representatives of
other public sector partner organisations, environmental NGOs, and voluntary and
local community groups. A key objective of the conference was for delegates to
discuss and identify actions that local authorities could take to address the
biodiversity emergency. A set of recommendations was developed during round-
table discussions on the day. The key outcomes of these discussions were presented
as series of actions for consideration by local authorities to address biodiversity
conservation and the biodiversity emergency within their areas. The Water and
Wastewater Expo, held in Killiney, extended an invitation to Pond Development to
co-present a talk introducing the Legacy4LIFE and Ponds for Biodiversity project to a
room full of engineers. It’s not often we get to speak to such an audience; however,
the talk was well received, and the audience were engaged by the subject matter.
Lots of questions were asked at the end which is always a good sign!

And that is a very brief recap of our year to date! Lots of more outreach and activity
planned for 2023 so watch this space.

Wishing you all the very best for 2023 from the Ponds Team; Aoife, Francesca, and