A novel method of getting the North Clare business community involved in keeping the roads and laneways of the Burren tidy is being rolled out by the Burren Ecotourism Network (BEN), and supported by Clare County Council and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
Over 30 businesses have already signed up to the Adopt a Hedgerow Scheme, which sees participants clearing, monitoring and reporting on litter in the protected landscape of the Burren.
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is providing training and materials to BEN under the GeoparkLIFE project to ensure that adopt a hedgerow becomes a long term scheme that will inspire other business communities in other parts of the county.
BEN says the scheme will be extended in June to include the reporting of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Dogwood, which can negatively impact on native species that have been part of the Burren ecosystem for millennia.
“Each of the participating businesses, which are all members of our Network, is taking responsibility for keeping an eye on a defined section of hedgerow, reporting any dumping and periodically clearing the area of litter. Commented Janet Cavanagh of the Burren Ecotourism Network (BEN).
Commenting on the monitoring of invasive species, Ms. Cavanagh said: “BEN members will receive training on the identification and reporting of invasive species in the Burren, enabling Clare County Council to act on tackling this issue in a timely manner.”
Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer with Clare County Council said: “We are delighted to lend our support to this innovative initiative which is targeted at prompting community-wide action to combat litter in one of the county’s most scenic areas.”
“The Council will be providing volunteers with gloves, heavy duty plastic bags, litter pickers, and a litter pick up or a pass to a Council recycling facility as a way of encouraging as many businesses as possible to consider taking part in the Adopt a Hedgerow Scheme,” added Ms. Foley .
B.E.N. is a network of tourism enterprises with the objective of establishing the Burren as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage. Visit http://www.burren.ie for more.