President Higgins initiates biodiversity survey to identify ways to protect plant and animal life around Áras an Uachtaráin
Published: Sat 1st Feb, 2020 | 16:31
President Michael D Higgins has asked a team of experts to develop plans to protect plants and wildlife around Áras an Uachtaráin.
In November 2019, the President asked the Office of Public Works (OPW), which owns and manages the Phoenix Park, to commission a year-long “bio-diversity” audit of the 52.6-hectare (130-acre) site around Áras an Uachtaráin. (see press release of 10 November 2019)
The team of scientists will quantify both habitat and species diversity in the grounds, which contain both formal gardens and certified organic kitchen gardens, grasslands, wooded areas and a lake.
President Higgins has been interested in the protection of biodiversity for many years, and it was this issue that brought him to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
Speaking at the first National Biodiversity Conference in early 2019 he said that we are facing “profound challenges” in terms of threats to our natural environment and that reversing biodiversity loss will require all of us to be leaders within our own spheres of influence.
Kitchen Gardens at Áras an Uachtaráin: 10 years of certified organic production
The kitchen garden at Áras an Uachtaráin has achieved an Organic Certification for the 10th year in a row.
The Kitchen Garden at Áras an Uachtaráin, which is managed sustainably, provides organic fruit, vegetables and flowers, all of which are used in the preparation of meals and decorations at Áras an Uachtaráin.
In addition to vegetables, the Áras also has its own orchard, growing apples, pears, plums and strawberries, which is also home to chickens and a number of beehives.
The hives house native black bees (Apis Mellifera mellifera) and are looked after by the OPW, with the assistance of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers. The honey the bees produce has won an international award for its quality and is used at State functions.
President Higgins launches next phase of Áras an Uachtaráin Biodiversity Programme
On the 31st May, 2021 President Higgins launched a new partnership between Kylemore Abbey and Áras an Uachtaráin, aimed at enhancing the sustainable management of the grounds around the home of the President. Click here to read more.
“Bee Hotels” have been installed in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin
- Connemara ponies at Áras an Uachtaráin (July 2021)
- President Higgins welcomes findings of biodiversity report (November 2020)
- [Photos] Photo gallery of the biodiversity audit
- [Report] Final report of the Biodiversity Audit of Áras an Uachtaráin (November 2020)
- [Video] Biodiversity audit of Áras an Uachtaráin resumes following Covid-19 lockdown (May 2020)
- Statement from President Higgins on National Biodiversity Day (May 2020)
- President marks UN International Year of Plant Health 2020 with a tree planting ceremony (January 2020)
- Áras an Uachtaráin to undertake biodiversity study (November 2019)
- President opens the Phoenix Park Biodiversity Festival and Honey Show (September 2019)
- President performs the official opening of Bloom 2019 (May 2019)
- World Bee Day 2019 (May 2019)
- President’s address at the National Biodiversity Conference (February 2019)
- President visits Cabragh Wetlands Trust to open new centre and visit the wetlands (May 2018)
- President visits Abbeyleix to mark Biodiversity Week (May 2017)
RTÉ’s “Mooney Goes Wild” on the project:
- Introduction to the project: Margaret Gormley. (20 January 2020 https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21698475)
- Mushrooms: Prof. Paul Dowding. (27 January 2020 https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21700868)
- Bird life: Prof. Nicola Marple. (30 March 2020 https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21744577)
- Spiders and Badgers: Dr. Aoibheann Gaughran and Collie Ennis (20 April 2020 https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21756684)