A grant scheme providing support to Ireland’s nature recording community has opened its applications for 2022. The scheme, managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, aims to help naturalists recording in Ireland to maintain and enhance their expertise in species identification. The scheme also aims to encourage and develop the next generation of specialist recorders, particularly as throughout the COVID-19 pandemic many members of the public have spent more time in nature and developed greater interest in biodiversity.
Grants are aimed at volunteer, unpaid recorders, or groups, societies and associations of recorders who have limited/no access to financial supports for their work. This is the fourth year of the grant scheme and so far it has supported over 30 projects run by individuals and groups. Projects have covered the entire range of Irish natural history including site recording of many biological groups (e.g. moths, other terrestrial invertebrates, bats, plants, and marine organisms), support for publications and updating of web sites, and support to purchase specialist equipment to track bird movements.
The data generated by these recording exercises is utilised by the NPWS to generate information on species and habitats. In turn, it informs advice on nature conservation objectives and practical measures to protect species.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan T.D. said:
“I’m delighted to announce that this popular scheme is open to applications again this year. We’ve seen some great work done in local communities through this scheme and I’m proud to support the work of our specialist recorders with these grants. I hope, given the increased time people have spent engaging with nature over the past two years during periods of lockdown, that more nature enthusiasts will apply for this funding and join this vibrant network.
This scheme also supports the work of the NPWS in recording many aspects of individual species and provides great value to our Department in establishing useful data to support conservation.”
Applications should be submitted by 5pm on 13th April 2022. The form and further details can be found at https://www.npws.ie/news/npws-grants-small-recording-projects-2022-0