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18 May 2022

Heritage Minister enjoys environmental walk across Offaly/ Laois mountain range

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Minister Byrne and his fellow walkers photographed at Clear Lake in the Slieve Blooms

HERITAGE Minister and Green Party TD Malcolm Noonan joined Mountaineering Ireland on an environmental walk across the Slieve Bloom mountains nature reserve on Saturday last.

The purpose of the walk was to discuss management of the habitat - how hill walkers can help in conservation, ensure walkways are maintained and minimise impact on wildlife.

The Slieve Blooms are a high quality blanket bog habitat surrounded by plantation forestry, a key site for hen harriers, red grouse and other ground nesting birds.

Said Minister Noonan: “We were fortunate to have seen grouse and a male hen harrier as well as bog rosemary. NPWS staff mow sections of the blanket bog to encourage new growth of heather and block drains to encourage sphagnum growth.

“A huge thanks to Helen Lawless; Mountaineering Ireland's Access and Conservation Officer, Padraig Comerford, Robert Edge and Áine Lynch of NPWS and all the people who joined us on an informative walk.

“Mountaineering Ireland are important and valued stakeholders in our collective conservation and restoration efforts.”

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