Clara Bog Visitor Centre adult education course

THE Clara Bog Visitor Centre is running an Adult Education Course between Monday, August 8 and Friday, August 12. The course will consist of morning lectures with an afternoon field trip to a choice of locations Clara Bog, the surrounding Clara Esker Ridge and local woodlands.

THE Clara Bog Visitor Centre is running an Adult Education Course between Monday, August 8 and Friday, August 12. The course will consist of morning lectures with an afternoon field trip to a choice of locations Clara Bog, the surrounding Clara Esker Ridge and local woodlands.

Lectures and field trips will be conducted by National Parks & Wildlife Service staff along with guest speakers naturalist Christopher Wilson and wildlife artist Dave Daly.

Morning lectures will cover a range of themes. Following registration the course will commence with an introduction by the National Parks & Wildlife Service to habitat and species conservation, management, research and the role of the organisation into the future.

Themes within the lecture series will include habitats of Clara Bog and local environs, the archaeology of bogs, identification of butterflies and moths, an introduction to Sphagnum bog mosses, the ecology of birds and Irish mammals, local wildflowers and a demonstration of nature in art form. Connect with language to reveal the origin of native flora and fauna names. Used to describe characteristics or traditional uses names could also reflect mythological associations.

Field trips to local habitats will include Clara Bog Raised Bog an Annex I priority habitat under European law and consequently designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), cutover bog, the Clara Esker that encompasses the western and northern boundary of Clara Bog and the local woodlands and hedgerows adjoining Clara Bog. As part of the guided walk staff of the National Parks & Wildlife Service will explore the unique flora associated with the habitats and the influence these have on the Clara Bog ecosystem.

Identification and introduction to elements of ecology will set about raising awareness of the species diversity that habitats support. Subjects will range from specialised Sphagnum mosses and lichens, restricted in habitat extent, to butterflies and moths, birds and mammals that require a network of habitats to provide shelter and food resources throughout the seasons.

The course will also reflect on the interaction between bogs, as an element of the environment, and people.

Experience the importance of archaeology as a tool to interpreting human society and providing an important link to the past. From the initial survey, through excavation stage to analysis the lectures will unearth the process involved in retrieving artefacts from wetland habitats.

Finally, discover the beauty of Clara Bog and associated flora and fauna as a boundless nature resource to be captured in art. Passionate about birds, Christopher and Dave will convey their field experience and knowledge of ornithology.

Booking for the course is essential as places are limited. The cost of the course is €50 and places can be reserved by calling the Clara Bog Visitor Centre on 057 93 68878 or emailing claraguides@environ.ie for further information.