Catchment News

Tidy Towns – Networking for Nature Event, Carrick-on-Shannon

Over sixty people gathered from Tidy Towns groups in the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon last Saturday 11 March for a Networking for Nature Event organised by Leitrim County Council and the Waters & Communities Office.

Joseph Gilhooly Director of Services with Leitrim County Council welcomed and commended the Tidy Towns on the excellent work they do in their communities. Padraig Mc Shera (Area Engineer) and Carmel Coll (Environmental Awareness Officer) highlighted the resources available to support Tidy Towns Groups with their efforts.

At 11am Tidy Towns groups from Roscommon, Sligo, Longford and Cavan joined the Leitrim Tidy Towns groups to learn and share experiences on how they could enhance their waterways and support biodiversity as part of the National Tidy Towns Competition.

Bernie O’ Flaherty and Karen Kennedy from the Waters & Communities Office emphasised the value of our water catchments and the importance of reconnecting with our rivers and lakes as they provide a wide range of benefits for all of us including health and wellbeing. They also gave practical examples of how local groups can get involved in protecting and managing their own local water environment and encouraged communities to have their say on the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland through consultation events being organised by the Waters & Communities Office over the coming months.

The day provided lots of interaction and plenty of note taking for eager groups wising to increase marks for their areas. Guest speakers included Emer Brennan from Monaghan Tidy Towns Network who encouraged groups to go and visit other Tidy Towns as their network had benefited from a recent visit to Letterkenny.

Billy Flynn Ecologist and Tidy Towns Adjudicator stressed “the importance of access to waterways” and recalled a story of “a recent school nature walk with teenagers and one student mentioned it was the first time he had seen a frog”.

Yvonne and Declan Foley from Beltra in Sligo have a keen interest in the environment and growing native woodlands on their land described the Networking for Nature Event as:

‘absolutely fascinating, so informative & educational. We were totally engrossed from start to end. We never thought about water and why it is important. We are ‘tree people’ but now have a new focus on water and our river.’

Also on hand to offer support were Leitrim Development Company, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland, The Organic Centre and BirdWatch Leitrim to provide advice on funding and other resources available to Tidy Towns groups. The day finished with a biodiversity walk and talk in glorious sunshine along the boardwalk and River Shannon led by Billy Flynn.

For further information please contact:

Karen Kennedy, Waters & Communities Office, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

Tel: 085 8085495


Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.