Hive of activities

Pictured: Eimear Scanlon from Greystones, Wicklow getting her face painted.

The Hive at Herbert Park was buzzing with activity on the 1st and 2nd of April recently, thanks to Dublin City Council and Dodder Action. The weekend-long event brought together organisations and volunteers who are passionate about preserving the natural wonders of the river Dodder, which flows through the heart of our community.

On Saturday, Ricky Whelan from BirdWatch Ireland led an interactive display on identifying and recording birds along the river using Bird Track, an online bird recording scheme that will use data from birdwatchers’ records to support species and site conservation at local, national and international scales.

Coast Watch Ireland did a display on what lives under the mudflats of Dublin Bay and how the health of the river water affects the marine biodiversity there.

The Water Framework Directive Office helped children use a microscope to see fresh water insects, which are indicative of good water quality, up close and personal.

Victoria White, Chair of Dodder Action explains the aim of the event: “The event is run by Dublin City Council, they are the prime motivators. Their aim is to bring the different stakeholders in the Dodder together to create a united community around the river and eventually form a river trust. It has happened along the river Barrow and it has happened in Britain a lot. There are many, many stakeholders up and down the river and lots of them have been here at this event. We have met people from the tributaries and from Bohernabreena and we’ve met people who are just as passionate as us about the river, so this event has been very useful for networking. The river is very long, fourteen miles, and it flows through three different county councils. Now with the internet it gives us our first opportunity to actually connect, because before that it was really impossible. We have in Dodder Action created the basis of a river community and in some ways DCC is coming in to try to maximise that.”

On Sunday, OWLS, The children’s nature charity led a walk along the Dodder to observe the bird life. They also used nets and trays to explore the creatures who live under the surface of ponds.

Pictured: A member of Dodder Anglers teaching Mia Zoladz how to cast.

Pictured: Stephan Phelan from Dodder Anglers showcasing his fly fishing skills.
Images by Jessica Ellis.

Dodder Anglers also led a fly fishing expedition and demonstration. Members of the club helped children to try casting and knot tying. Stephen Phelan exhibited the clothing and gear a fly-fisher needs and even got knee-deep in the river to show off his casting skills.

Joe Hanley was also on hand to help out: “We are trying to get kids fishing again. We want to get them off the computers and out into the fresh air to see the wildlife, catch a few fish and have fun. That is what we’re down here for today.”

By Jessica Ellis