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What works has EirGrid carried out to date?

EirGrid’s ecologist designed an outline botanical monitoring programme in 2019. The objective was to monitor and measure the effect on meadow plant diversity, of changing the mowing regime.

In 2020, EirGrid appointed Wetland Surveys Ireland (WSI) ecological consultants, to refine and implement the monitoring programme.

WSI completed baseline surveys in August 2020; finding the meadow species poor, homogenous and lacking flora species of conservation significance.

A new mowing regime will be introduced in half the meadow in 2022 (one early cut, and one late cut) and this is expected to increase wildflower diversity.

The second half of the meadow will remain as per current single cut management.

In addition to the mowing changes, EirGrids ecologist has been hand-pulling perennial weeds, and is planting parasitic Yellow Rattle  flowers to reduce soil nutrients.

Botanical monitoring will continue in 2022 and 2023.

WSI will use statistical analyses to compare plant communities in new and existing meadow management, to inform future management, and assess the success of biodiversity actions in promoting wildflower growth.

Complementary invertebrate monitoring is planned in 2022, to assess management changes on insects and related species in addition to plants.

EirGrid is partnering with the charity treesontheland to plant up to 1,000 native and Irish-grown trees on areas of amenity grassland

Other biodiversity management interventions completed or imminent include:

  • Creation of fenced-ff scrapes for nesting bees, following consultation with the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC)
  • Cessation of herbicide spraying in woodland plantations
  • Leaving dead wood standing and lying within the plantation to favour insects, fungi, and bats.
  • A nesting bird box with an integrated camera has been installed to monitor bird breeding success, with records to be submitted to the Nest Record Scheme of the British Trust for Ornithology.
Hitachi Energy installing pole-mounted nest box containing video camera

How is EirGrid sharing the results of the project?

EirGrid has registered the EWIC Biodiversity Project as a site under the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service has included the EWIC Biodiversity Project as a case study in their Irish Business and Biodiversity Project report available here. This project is examining how business contribution to Ireland’s national biodiversity objectives can be enhanced.

Please check this page for future updates on the project, which will be available on this website.

What future actions are EirGrid considering?

EirGrid is considering options to use the EWIC site for environmental training and educational purposes to benefit local communities.
To maximise the site’s value for such purposes, we are exploring s hard landscaping to include interactive audiovisual signage.
We are also exploring use of ‘geo-tagging’ as an innovative means of leading visitors through key biodiversity features