Take a Walk on the Wild Side…
Biodiversity Walk & Talk with Hans Visser
Biodiversity is the shortened form of two words “biological” and “diversity.” It refers to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms) as well as to the communities that they form and the habitats in which they live.
Hans Visser is the Biodiversity Officer with Fingal County Council. In his capacity as ambassador for all things biological, Hans is passionate about his subject, and his enthusiasm for his topic is contagious.
This Years talk revolves around Turvey Island Nature Reserve near Donabate in north Co Dublin.
The nature reserve is a 220-acre local authority owned park that was bought in the 1970’s but designed and built by the local community.
This included 30,000 trees planted by local schools over the past 15 years.
It was farmland but has now been turned into an area that has grass and wetlands, wildflowers and other habitats.
Hans Visser, Biodiversity Officer at Fingal County Council said there are a lot more species in the area now and this is a model that can be replicated anywhere else in Ireland.
He said the transformation didn’t cost a lot and in the main it was a case of leaving nature to its own devices.
The council blocked the drains and created new wetland areas.
Mr Visser said that originally Turvey Island had no freshwater habitats at all and no wetlands to start with.
Now there are swans breeding, ducks, kingfishers, otters and much much more as a result of the work that has taken place.
He explained that so-called “sacrificial” crops including a combination of cereal and wildflowers which are left to stand alone into the wintertime acted like big bird feeding tables.