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24 May 2022

Offaly farmer to speak at European Biodiversity Conference

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A Clara farmer is to speak at a biodiversity conference

Offaly farmer Brian Sheridan, a native of Clara, will address a European Conference on Biodiversity on this Wednesday, March 2.

Brian , a farmer who has ancestral connections to Clara Bog, will speak about how he became a promoter and protector of Clara Bog at the conference.

His grandfather, John Sheridan, was Trustee of Clara Bog, “If you wanted to cut turf you’d go to John Sheridan. He’d tell you that you could cut a perch beside so and so.”

Brian is an active member of Clara Bog and Heritage Society and sits on the Community Wetlands Forum steering committee. He envisions Clara as a hub for visitors who want to learn more about bogs, their biodiversity, their importance in regulating climate, and heritage. “We’re wiser than we were sixty years ago or more. Since then we discovered we were doing more harm than good. People have realised that the bog is a golden nugget in the centre of Ireland. The bog is more valuable than the rainforests.”

A new walkway, Tony’s Hill, was opened recently by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and The Living Bog Project which meanders around a natural lime hill that formed in the bog. Tony’s Hill, named after the last resident of the stone cottage on the hill, has become a popular walkway for locals and visitors.

‘A bridge over troubled water – Conference for Biodiversity’, hosted by The Greens in Europe, is happening in conjunction with two upcoming key moments: the EU Renaturation Law and the World Biodiversity Conference in Kunming/China. The conference aims to highlight initiatives and institutions that, contrary to the overwhelming rejection of renaturation and sustainable management, are nevertheless doing exemplary work. “We want to show the conservation heroes of their sectors and get to know their motives and preconditions. So that even more people and actors become bridges over the raging waters.”

The conference begins at 5pm GMT on 2nd March. You can register for the conference online HERE.

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