Autumn is a great time for exploring our coast and the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council is co-ordinating a number of upcoming events that may be of interest to many people. The annual Coastwatch survey season runs from 15th September to 15th October and interested members of the public are invited to take part in the survey and to come along to an information session and outing at Bray Sealife on Friday 23rd September at 3pm to find out more.
The ‘Behind the Beach’ biodiversity programme at Brittas Bay continues with a Migrant Birds field trip taking place on Sunday 25th September at 9am; a big beach clean-up planned for 1st October and a ‘Dynamic Dunes’ field outing on 26th October.
The Coastwatch survey is our longest running eco-audit of the coastline where volunteers from all over Ireland are invited to adopt’ one or more 500m survey units of the coast and to commit to visiting this at low tide and to completing and submitting the Coastwatch questionnaire.
The questionnaire records everything from sealife, plants and animals to litter and micro plastics and this year it is also expected to document cases of dead seabirds who have succumbed to avian flu.
Members of the public are reminded about the unfortunate incidences of Avian flu affecting seabird populations and are reminded never to touch dead or dying birds, keep pets away and to report all sightings to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at T: 01 492 8026.
Likewise, the public is reminded that this time of year is also particularly important for grey seals as the adults congregate in sheltered beaches and typically give birth to a single pup between now and December. People and dogs are asked to maintain a distance of 100m or more if possible from seals, as coming close to them will cause stress to the animals and may cause abandonment of pups. For more information see www.sealrescueireland.org and Seal Rescue Hotline T: 087 1955393
For more on the Coastwatch Survey and to download materials see www.coastwatch.org , visit www.wicklow.ie/latest news for more information about upcoming events or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the Heritage Office mailing list.