Catchment News

Water Heritage Day: a celebration of water during National Heritage Week 2017

| in News, Stories, Water and Communities

National Heritage Week is held over the last week of August each year and is coordinated by The Heritage Council. The aim is to raise awareness and provide education on our natural, built and cultural heritage, thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation. Many of the events that take place during Heritage Week are supported by national and community organisations and are free to attend.

us all to get outdoors and enjoy Ireland’s natural heritage. ‘Wild Child Day’ on Wednesday 23rd August encouraged children to take part in a range of exciting activities like pond dipping, bug workshops and forest walks. Water Heritage Day took place on Sunday 27th August, and was a collaboration between the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office and the Heritage Council. Water Heritage Day provided an opportunity to focus on water heritage with activities and events held across the entire country that involved boating, fishing, walking, wildlife and much more. Community Water Officers in collaboration with Heritage Officers worked with local community groups to organise and support events to ‘Celebrate Water’. These events provided an opportunity for young and old to explore and learn about their local water catchments – springs, holy wells, rivers, lakes and coasts. Communities right across Ireland have deep rooted associations with their local waters and there is so much to discover and explore as water journeys through the landscape from source to sea. Many of the beautiful places in Ireland are connected to our rivers, lakes and coasts, and these have provided enjoyment and inspiration for local communities and visitors through generations.

Some of the events supported by Community Water Officers included: nature walks along rivers, lakes and coastlines; river exploration safaris; river family fun days; heritage walks and talks along canals; catchment bus tours from source to sea; photography exhibitions; visits to community wetlands; farm biodiversity walks; boating trips and seafood festivals.

Water Heritage Day 2017 proved a very successful collaboration between Community Water Officers and Heritage Officers and the feedback from those who attended and participated in events has been very positive.

The EU Water Framework Directive states that ‘water is a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such’, and we hope to continue to celebrate water, and all its heritage, during National Heritage Week 2018.

Karen Kennedy, Local Authority Waters and Communities Office Looped guided bird and photography walk along the Dodder Tallaght, Co. Dublin Broadmeadow river family fun day, Ashbourne Co. Meath kick sample, Ashbourne

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.