Gardening For Biodiversity.Tydavnet Group Water Scheme has arranged for the distribution of the very attractive booklet “Gardening for Biodiversity” to all household members of the scheme over the past week. This initiative, taken by the Board of Management, is in support of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (www.pollinators.ie), led by BiodiversityIreland.ie. The National Federation of Group Water Scheme, of which our scheme is an affiliated member, has over the past year or so been actively promoting better awareness of the environment generally, especially in the context of the need to protect drinking water sources from pollution threats. It was during a closer examination of all the potential threats to our water sources that a much better understanding of biodiversity emerged. Most people automatically think ‘farming activities’ only as the main threat to drinking water sources but we all have a part to play especially those of us living in rural Ireland. Just look into your own garden and ask yourself: “could I be doing something to harm nature”! And don’t be ashamed to admit that yes, we may be doing quite a lot of harm, what with spraying what we consider ‘weeds’, mowing ALL of our lawns from kerb to kerb, cutting down hedges etc. You are not alone here …. we all did that and indeed many of us continue to do so. Spraying weed killing chemicals not only kills the ‘weeds’ or wild flowers which would otherwise flourish but often kills the insects, bees and butterflies which are vital to pollinate our crops, fruit and vegetables. Without those very important pollinators (bees etc) those crops would simply not produce the food we all require. In addition, those chemical sprays are often washed into drains etc, which ultimately seriously pollute as they flow on into our lakes, rivers and indeed percolate down into underground aquifers, many of which are used for abstracting drinking water. In the case in our own water scheme we take water from 5 separate deep wells and it would be an absolute disaster if those wells ever became polluted from any source, including chemical sprays etc. Tydavnet Group Water Scheme is delighted to be associated with this national initiative and urges all members to read and study this excellent production and keep it in a safe place for easy reference. The Board would also like to encourage as many people as possible ….perhaps as family units…to set aside as much of the garden as possible for nature and to let the natural wildflowers and shrubs grow and flourish as ‘wilding areas’ for bees, butterflies and other insects to forage for their appropriate and nourishing food. The Chairman of the Board, Gerard Meehan speaking at the launch said : “In this way we can all play our own little part in what must be a national effort if we are to see a much needed reversal in the rapid decline of our rare wild bee population, let’s begin that work in our own gardens without delay”. The content of this booklet “Gardening for Biodiversity”, has been very carefully assembled and is based on facts obtained through intensive research and not on opinions. For further information etc please contact Secretary, Claire Sherlock, Mobile No 087 2484445.