03 Oct 2022

Explore Kilkenny's rivers on water heritage day


Green's Bridge in Kilkenny

This year National Heritage Week marks a return to in-person events, with a focus on sustainable heritage and biodiversity, while Sunday, August 21 will see a special focus on water heritage.

These themes shine a spotlight on the urgent need to address the biodiversity crisis and wide scale loss of nature in our towns and countryside. Water heritage naturally weaves through those themes like a mighty river through the landscape, connecting communities along its path and shaping local traditions.

History shows that rivers are a mirror to society, they continually reflect what we do on land. Today, water quality in half of Ireland’s rivers, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters is under pressure from agriculture, forestry, wastewater treatment, and surface water from urban areas.

To tackle these problems, people must work together towards a sustainable way of living. With healthy rivers reflecting a society that values good water quality and biodiversity for the benefits to our health, wellbeing, and prosperity.

The Local Authority Waters Programme is one of many public bodies working for better water quality in our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

“Water Heritage Day is an opportunity for people to get out and about to discover the wonders of nature on our doorstep,” says Ann Phelan, Community Water Officer for Kilkenny.

“I encourage communities and families in Kilkenny to take part in Heritage Week events across the county. This year, there are many opportunities to explore and learn about your local rivers.

“There is a particular focus on projects that highlight green spaces and nature in our towns and cities. These places have multiple benefits for our health and wellbeing, and how we adapt to the effects of a changing climate.”

A sample of events that you can attend in County Kilkenny include:
Wild Child Day, Eel Monitoring Inistioge Tuesday, August 16;
Boat Trips on the River Nore, Saturday, August 20;
Lingaun River Walk and history of the valley, Sunday, August 21;
Castlecomer Bioblitz on the River Dinan, Sunday, August 21;
River Safari along the Barrow with Eanna ni Lamhna, Sunday, August 21;
Join poet Christine Foley as reads her poem Ode to the River Barrow, Sunday, August 21.

“The real hope for achieving a sustainable future lies in the strength of local communities. By working together and supporting one another, we can make a difference," said Ms Phelan.

"Water Heritage Day, on the last day of National Heritage Week, is an opportunity to get out and celebrate nature along a local riverbank or coastline.”

For more information, visit the National Heritage Week website and LAWPRO’s website

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