Ours To Protect with John Morley (EP 43)

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Ours to Protect is a unique and exciting audio project – a collaboration of local and regional broadcasters from across the country who have come together to tackle climate change, champion climate action, and inform and educate audiences all over Ireland about how they can make a difference.

Today on ‘Ours To Protect’ John Morley talks to Keith Fahy of Country Life about the Buaile Bó Ballyloughane pilot project.

Did you know…

  • In 2024, Ballyloughane will welcome a new group of residents: a family of Dexter cows, as part of Galway City Council’s fascinating biodiversity trial project.
  • Native breeds are often adapted to specific habitats. They graze in ways that promote plant diversity and can even help disperse seeds through their fur, fostering a healthy and balanced ecosystem.
  • Reintroducing native breeds brings back natural-born pest controllers. Many native species have evolved alongside these animals, meaning they can help keep insect and rodent populations in check without relying on pesticides.

Why is it important to reintroduce native breeds?

  • Unlike larger cows, Dexters graze more selectively. They nibble on the dominant grasses, allowing wildflowers like knapweed, red clover, and birdsfoot trefoil to flourish.
  • Healthy wildflower populations attract a wider variety of insects, which in turn become a food source for birds. The Ballyloughane project aims to create safe nesting and feeding areas for coastal birds by encouraging wildflower growth.
  • The Ballyloughane project is a great example of how reintroducing native breeds can benefit biodiversity in a specific location. The project’s success can inspire similar initiatives in other parts of Ireland, promoting the use of native breeds for conservation purposes.

What can I do help with projects like the Ballyloughnane project?

  • Consider supporting local farmers who raise native breeds of cows. Look for products that are labelled as sustainable or wildlife-friendly.
  • If you’re involved in agricultural organizations or speak with policymakers, you can advocate for the use of native breeds like Dexter cows in conservation efforts.
  • Reach out to the organizations involved in the Ballyloughane project, such as the Burrenbeo Trust or the Irish Wildlife Trust. They might have volunteering opportunities or donation options on their websites.

Here’s a few websites if you want to know more!

https://www.galwaycity.ie/buaileboballyloughane – Galway City Council’s explanation of the Ballyloughnane Project

https://nationalinventoryich.tcagsm.gov.ie/native-irish-cattle-breeding/ – Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2024/buaile-bo-ballyloughane—new-biodiversity-pilot-project-for-galway-city.php – Teagasc

For more info go over to galwaybayfm.ie, click on Our to Protect image on home page. You could try out the  ‘Ecological Footprint’ calculator and you can take a quick survey.

‘Ours To Protect’ brought to you by Galway Bay fm, the IBI and funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the television licence fee – check out ‘ours to protect.ie for more info.

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