30 nest boxes installed at Shannon Airport to help conserve biodiversity

Thirty bat, bird and bee boxes are being erected in the surrounding lands of the Shannon Campus to lend a hand to nature. Pictured are Philip Brennan, the Shannon Airport Ornithologist, Environmentalist and Broadcaster, Éanna Ní Lámhna, Arek Gdulinski, Sustainability Expert, The Shannon Airport Group and Sinead Murphy, Head of Sustainability at The Shannon Airport Group. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

THEY’VE gone pure batty at Shannon Airport. Thirty bat, bird, and bee boxes are being erected in the surrounding lands of the airport campus to lend a hand to nature.

The nest boxes are part of The Shannon Airport Group’s new Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), which was launched by environmentalist and broadcaster, Éanna Ní Lamhna.

They will be located at the Group’s community biodiversity garden, in woodlands, and other areas of suitable habitat across the campus.

The launch of the plan took place in the community biodiversity garden where students from St John’s National School Shannon received an educational workshop on flora and fauna by Ms Ní Lamhna and guest speaker Philip Brennan, the Shannon Airport Ornithologist.

Also in attendance were local community groups, including Shannon Tidy Towns, Shannon Wetlands Community Group, and Shannon Men’s Shed.

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The BAP, which is a key initiative of the Group’s Sustainability Strategy, aims to gather data of the biodiversity present across the Group’s lands and to protect and conserve it using the most appropriate and eco-friendly methods available.

It outlines a number of actions, which includes a “low mow” regime, pollinator friendly planting, woodland enhancement, monitoring habitat transition, and education, outreach, and engagement.

Sinead Murphy, Head of Sustainability at The Shannon Airport Group said: “Our mission for this plan is to become a biodiversity-friendly airport and business campus. We aim to protect, conserve, and enhance the valuable habitats and species present across The Shannon Airport Group lands.”

“This includes not only the EU Natura 2000 sites designated as a Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area, and the nationally important proposed Natural Heritage Area, but also the undesignated sites which exist within the airport lands and commercial properties.” 

Launching the Biodiversity Action Plan, Éanna Ní Lamhna commented: “The simplest of environmental management changes can bring huge improvement in biodiversity. Here on the Shannon campus, there is already the return of Marsh Orchids and Bee Orchids thanks to a low mow regime. It will get better and better as the action plan is further rolled out.”