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Corncrakes, Biodiversity & Birdsong
May 21, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - May 22, 2021 @ 9:30 pm€25
A weekend dedicated to Birds & Biodiversity – especially the Corncrake
In Collaboration with the Corncrake Traonach LIFE Project, With Special guests Aengus Kennedy & Malcolm Green
Fri 21st – Sat 22nd May 2021 @ 7.30 – 9.30pm each evening (GMT +1 )
Entry to this weekend long event is €25 if you feel the ticket cost is out of reach, please get in touch
This weekend is inspired by the Corncrake. Parts of Donegal, particularly the offshore islands of Inishboffin and Tory, are some of the few habitable landscapes left for what was once a bountiful bird across the entire Island of Ireland & the UK. As such, the decline in the Corncrake population has seen it added as a red listed breed. However, there is much being done to ensure the protection of this bird, with conservation and habitat management initiatives by Birdwatch Ireland and most recently the Corncrake Traonach Life project.
The Song House has teamed up with The Corncrake Life Project to bring you this online gathering dedicated to Birds, Birdsong & Biodiversity with a particular emphasis and focus on the Corncrake and the new Traonach Life project.
There will be opportunities to share, to learn and exchange knowledge around Birds & Biodiversity in general.
With the Corncrake and Traonach Life project as a centre focus, community engagement officers Caitriona Ni Cheallaigh & Patrick Fitzmaurice will delve into the importance of & opportunities inherent in the projects holistic & community-based approach to conserving the Corncrake. Values of community, individual and collective engagement and participation are encouraged & built upon – where it is seen and understood that what’s good for the conservation of the Corncrake is also good for the community.
Modern farming practices have banished this shy and elusive bird to the western fringes. They cling on to the habitats of wild places like Donegal and we are lucky to hear its distinctive call, luckier again to catch a glimpse.
There is something very valuable to be recognised in the places that allow these birds to remain in existence, and this is something equally worthy of our efforts to hold on to.
Special expert guest Aengus Kennedy, founder of Nature North West – will join Caitriona Kelly and Patrick Fitzmaurice from the Corncrake Life project. Aengus will share his signature talk and workshop – Lost Sounds. See below for more info.
We are also delighted to welcome artist and pioneer of storytelling for nature & environmental education – Malcolm Green.
Malcolm will share an excerpt of Gone Cuckoo, an enchanting & educational performance piece he has created and performed in collaboration with his son. This is a trailer for the main show – which Malcolm will adapt especially for our event.
As well as Malcolm’s performance piece, there will be:
- Opportunities to share and exchange knowledge in the fields of Biodiversity and Birds – specifically, the Corncrake
- Learn about your local and native garden birds and their individual songs
- Invitations to engage with & contribute towards the conservation initiatives of the Corncrake Traonach Life project.
- Opportunities to exchange knowledge & discuss how and what we as individuals and communities can do
- Limited spaces as we wish to keep the event as intimate and interactive as possible
Malcolm Green has pioneered the use of storytelling in environmental and nature education: working with thousands of school children, leading public events and trainings. He has run courses at many of the leading environmental training institutions and organised storytelling festivals. He has also facilitated many projects in schools, using storytelling to deepen children’s connection with place and nature. Two large projects involved children following the lives of kittiwakes and salmon on the Tyne River. Malcolm was a founder member of A Bit Crack – Storytelling. During this Song House event he adapts ‘Gone Cuckoo’ – an artistic performance piece he created with his son exploring the human relationship with the more than human world. www.malcolm-green.co.uk
Aengus Kennedy is NatureNorthWest’s lead nature guide, specialising in Field Ecology at University College Cork. He has worked with both young and old in the outdoors for over twenty years. For five years, Aengus worked as an education guide for the National Parks and Wildlife Services education programme in Glenveagh National Park. He has worked for An Taisce running school visits and guided walks for all, for Donegal County Council organising blue flag beach environmental education days throughout the county and is currently a member of the Heritage Councils Heritage in Schools Scheme, concentrating on nature education. He is a regular contributor to Highland Radio’s Around the NorthWest show on nature topics both local and global. Read more on the Nature North West website.
Caitriona Ni Cheallaigh, Community Engagement Officer in Donegal for the Corncrake Traonach Life Project. In this project community engagement and community participation is key to success. Caitriona is a fluent Irish speaker with a degree in Wildlife Ecology from Trinity College Dublin, combined with many years of working in community development and education settings. Building the Corncrake as an asset to communities, as well as securing landowner cooperation and local community involvement and support is a foundation stone on which the Corncrake Traonach Life project will be built.
Patrick Fitzmaurice is the Community Engagement Officer for the recently established Corncrake Traenacht LIFE project covering Galway and Mayo Project areas. From his extensive Community Engagement background, Patrick creates awareness of methods to promote the conservation status of our Corncrake through liaison with landowners, community organisations and school programmes. Patrick is the holder of a BSc and MSc in Environmental, Health and Safety Management.