OPW welcomes The Pollinator Trail at Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens to its expanding projects on implementing Biodiversity at its Heritage Sites

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Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., today officially opened the Pollinator Trail at Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens, Cork. The Pollinator Trail was developed in partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW), the Irish Heritage Trust and the Irish Bee Conservation Project. The purpose of the trail is to further enhance the visitor experience of these wonderful gardens, while showcasing the biodiversity in existence here and helping us to better understand the delicate balance at play within this environment.

The trail consists of twelve stations, each with a particular relevance to pollination and biodiversity and explaining topics such as “What is Pollination”, “The Bee Lodge”, “Plants Good for Pollination”, as well as stations with specific information on different bee types including the Queen Bee and Worker Bees.  Members can use their mobile phones to scan the QR Codes at each station in order to access additional information specific to pollination and biodiversity near that station. The final stop on the trail is an Observation Hive, where visitors have an opportunity to see the work of bees as they go about their daily chores.

To celebrate International Biodiversity Day this Saturday, it is proposed to hold two Open Days for the public on May 22nd and May 23rd to participate in exploring this wonderful new amenity.

Minister O’Donovan stated: “The OPW has a strong focus on biodiversity and various award-winning initiatives have been undertaken at many of our properties, such as Castletown House, the Phoenix Park and Scattery Island.  Here at Fota Arboretum and Gardens there has been a particular emphasis on pollinators, and I hope that the opening of this trail will encourage everyone to look with fresh eyes at our environment and be mindful of the wildlife that inhabits it.

Many of the OPW’s heritage sites have adopted pollinator-friendly planting and gardening and through these changes have encouraged the public to learn about, and promote, the importance of biodiversity. This year’s motto of Biodiversity Day is “we’re part of the solution” and reminds us that we all – no matter how big or small – have a part to play in preserving the environment. The new pollinator trail at Fota House Arboretum and Gardens will further inform and enhance visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the importance of pollination to our eco system.