Minister Moran announces Pollinator Plan for Leinster Lawn
17 July 19
Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief announced today, that the OPW will be implementing a new Pollinator Plan for Leinster Lawn.
OPW has been working with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, to consider actions from the All Ireland Pollinator Plan which could be implemented,to make the landscape in Leinster House more pollinator friendly. This Plan was recently presented to the Oireachtas Committee and approval was granted last week. Works will immediately commence on the implementation of the various actions in the proposal.
The Minister acknowledge the major restoration project approaching completion at Leinster House and stated “These proposed changes to the Leinster Lawn will enhance the recent restorations works to Leinster House while encouraging pollinators to flourish within the city. Any changes that can be made, no matter how small, will help safeguard the future of these little wonders who are so entwined in our everyday life.”
Actions being implemented by OPW in Leinster Lawn include, planting pollinator-friendly bulbs and perennial plants, introducing native wildflowers, reducing annual bedding and encorporating pollinator-friendly plants into the formal planters. Along with this,organic weed control is used, only where necessary and bee boxes will be installed. These initiatives will attract bees and provide excellent sources of pollen and nectar, while maintaining the important setting of Leinster House.
The orginal plans for ‘Leinster House’ was prepared in 1765 and described as having ‘a large formal lawn and walk’. This new plan references the past, while addressing the needs of the present, and safeguarding the setting for future generations.
Dr. Una Fitzpatrick, Ecologist from the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said “these actions will have significant positive impacts on our pollinators by providing them with food across their lifecycle.”
By working together collectively, we can take steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. We all have a responsiblity to contribute to reversing the pollinator decline. It is not about letting the landscape go wild, but about managing it in a way that is sustainable for pollinators, so that they can survive and continue to provide us with their vital service. These initiatives are being implemented over the coming season by the OPW horticultural team.
Pollinators are estimated to contribute €53 million annually to the Irish economy. However, recent research has shown that more than half of Irelands bee speices have undergone substanial declines in their numbers since 1980, with 30% of species considered threatened with extinction from Ireland. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure sustainablity of our food production, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the general health of the environment. 100 crops provide 90% of the worlds food supply, 71 are pollinated by bees. However, we are asking our pollinators to perform these services in an increasingly inhospitable landscape.