DLR launch Hedgerow Toolkit for Schools

by Gazette Reporter
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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage launched the Hedgerow Toolkit for Schools. This booklet has been developed to assist teachers in explaining the value of our hedgerows and to engage children on the subject of hedgerows, biodiversity and climate change through interesting activities.  

Councillor Mary Hanafin, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said: ‘’As a former teacher, I recognise the value of this hedgerow school toolkit containing plans for teachers and interesting activities for school children. Hedgerows are a rich resource – from learning about all the many plants, birds and animals that live in hedgerows, to how hedgerows help us fight climate change and reduce flooding. This hedgerow toolkit will provide an opportunity for our children to experience the joys of learning about nature close to their doorstep.’’

The hedgerow toolkit includes lesson plans with information on curriculum links and integration, learning activities, objectives and outcomes along with resources such as a classroom wall poster and hedgerow plants identification sheet.     

Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said: ’This is such a great resource of lesson plans and activities to share with young children. The toolkit is a way of increasing understanding of this wildlife habitat, to encourage and inspire our children of the value of hedgerows. A welcome reminder of the important role our hedgerows have in our natural landscape. So many of us pass a hedgerow on the road, in our parks, on the way to school or work and if we are lucky enough, we get a glimpse of a flower, a berry, a bird or insect that can brighten our day!’’

An introduction to the hedgerow toolkit and training for teachers will be provided by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2023 to help teachers and to encourage the use of the toolkit. It will also be available on the DLR website here, along with other educational resources for biodiversity. 

Minister Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage & Electoral Reform, said: “This toolkit is great initiative for Biodiversity and one I hope can be shared across classrooms in the country through other Local Authorities. Hedgerows are extremely important in providing food, shelter and corridors for maintaining wildlife diversity, particularly for birds, but also for other fauna and for wild plants. Local Authorities play a vital role in addressing the biodiversity crisis and I’m delighted to support Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in this initiative through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund, operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department.‘’

Anne Murray, Biodiversity Officer, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, highlighted: ‘’The aim of the Hedgerow Toolkit for Schools is to engage, inspire and motivate our young people through classroom learning and through visiting their local hedgerows; to equip our future generations with informed insight into these amazing features of our landscape that help us in the face of climate change, that provide habitats and refuges for our biodiversity, clean our air, reduce disease, provide food and shelter – the benefits of our hedgerows go on and on.’’  

Featured image: Minister Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage & Electoral Reform; Mark Nolan, Director, Biodiversity in Schools; Councillor Mary Hanafin, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Therese Langan, Director of Community and Cultural Development, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Anne Murray, Biodiversity Officer, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

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