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Bealtaine Festival is Approaching Fast!

Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science: Celebrate our Living Earth will take place this year, marking the ninth anniversary of the Festival. It will take place from the 18th-26th May 2013 and is a celebration of the science of summer in the South East. Bealtaine is Calmast’s life sciences event of the summer and is designed especially with young people in mind. Bealtaine is a partnership of multiple regional and national organisations seeking to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation for outdoor science.

 

This year, Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science is celebrating two very important internationally recognised days. The first is International Fascination of Plants Day on May 18th. The aim of this day is to get people enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture, food production, horticulture and forestry. The second important day is May 22nd, International Day for Biological Diversity. Each year this day has a theme, with this year’s theme relating to the role of Water in Biodiversity. Both days will be marked with aplomb, with workshops, walks and talks taking place.

The word Bealtaine has its roots in Irish language, myth and tradition as a festival for celebrating the return of summer to the land. This modern day interpretation of the festival also celebrates the return of summer, but with focus placed on the ecology and biology of early summer.

Events will take place within Waterford and the general south-east region and will focus on the rich biodiversity of this area. Events will be hosted by noted local organisations such as the Copper Coast Geopark, who will run events for primary, post-primary and adult groups focusing on the geology, wildlife and local heritage of coastal Waterford. The general public can enjoy the flora and fauna of Fenor Bog and explore the history of Dunhill. There will also be bat walks, river ecology walks, wetland tours and much more hosted by our partners in Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council. Waterford Institute of Technology will also host several events, helping the public to understand and engage with the research carried out here: Pine marten walks, photography workshops, plant eco-tours and bat watching will all be hosted by the Institute. One of the highlights of the week will be Dave’s Jungle, which introduces primary school children to a host of exotic animals. In this presentation they can learn about the life of animals, their feeding patterns and how they are specially adapted to the environment. It will also give participants the chance to get hands on with reptiles! Other events will be hosted by our partners in the National Biodiversity Data Collection Centre, Irish Wildlife Trust, Geology Survey of Ireland, Lismore Heritage Centre and JFK Arboretum.

Bealtaine is an internationally lauded event, cited by The Guardian as one of the must-see festivals celebrating International Day for Biodiversity. It’s a great way to celebrate Waterford and our important natural heritage. All events are free, but pre-booking is necessary. Keep an eye out for our posters in April. For more information or to download this year’s poster and programme of events, please visit www.livingearth.ie. Please book for events early, through Eleanor Reade 051 302037 ereade@wit.ie.