As part of our Sustainability Programme, we have identified a piece of land in a prominent location near the entrance to the Shannon Campus business park and Shannon Airport to create a Biodiversity Garden.
Since we all have a part to play in sustainability, our team saw this as an opportunity to engage with our local primary schools in Shannon and ask the students to decide on a theme, something like friendship or family, whatever the students feel is important to them at this time.
Entries from students included drawings, sketches & pictures that brought the students’ ideas to life. Using an agreed list of criteria, our judging panel selected three entries from each participating school for the public vote. Although we cannot guarantee the inclusion of all elements from the winning theme, we will work to include a collection of special items from all themes to be incorporated into the Biodiversity Garden.
The winning entry received a school tour for their class to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in 2021, including workshop of their choice, for all students in the class.
May of 2022 saw the launch of the Biodiversity Garden, with the winning class of St. Senans NS here in Shannon joining Shannon Airport Group and project partners to officially open the garden to our community. The students recieved an educational tour of the different elements of the garden and their individual contribution to biodiversity, and a tree was planted to celebrate.
Biodiversity Garden Features
Wildflowers Lawn: In this area, the grass is cut less often to allow for wildflowers to bloom and provide nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, beetles and many more insects. Some of the species of flower planted in the garden that are native to Ireland are: Wild 'Shamrock' Clovers, Shamrock, Bog Rosemary, Easter Lily, Sheep's-Bit, Spring Squill, Cowslips and Red Clover.
Wildflowers Meadow: In this area, the grass is cut once per year to allow the taller wildflowers to bloom and provide a source of nectar for pollinators. The long grass is also an ideal habitat for small animals such as frogs, mice, and hedgehogs.
Waterway: This garden is surrounded by two canals designated to drain the original marshlands during the construction of Shannon Airport. A nearby water source is vital to any natural area supporting plants and animals.
Log Pile: In natural woodland fallen trees provide a shelter for many insects and fungi species. We have created this log pile to recreate that environment and attract local species to move into this habitat.
Our Sustainability Team has reached out to local primary schools to start a calendar of educational workshops for students to learn more about biodiversity. The aim of these workshops, which are being held at the Group’s Rineanna Biodiversity Garden at the Shannon Campus, is to increase awareness of environmental issues and the importance of local biodiversity. These workshops will help to empower young people to become more proactive about the steps they can take to enhance the environment around them and reconnect with nature.
Over 20 sixth class students got their hands mucky as they learned to make garden compost and create a raised bed for planting vegetables in Spring.
Participants are also given a talk on the purpose of each specific area of the garden, how to identify native trees and the different type of food to attract garden birds. The Rineanna Biodiversity Garden, which was officially opened in May 2022, is home to bee and bug hotels, an earthen bank for hibernating bees, and a log pile to provide shelter for insects' integral to the garden’s environment.
If your school would like to take part or for more information on our sustainability initiatives in The Shannon Airport Group please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org