Alan Booth, an ecologist from TOBIN’s Dublin Office, was recently invited by Nav-watch, in association with the Offaly branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), and supported by Waterways Ireland, to give an educational ecological walk along the canal in Edenderry.
Nav-watch is a collaborative project between Canal and Barrow branches of the IWAI. The Nav-Watch project has developed a survey tool for boaters and other users of the system to log issues on navigation or infrastructure that impede use of the navigation. Part of this survey tool is the reporting of invasive species.
The walk took place during the IWAI Easter Rally and Harbour Festival in Edenderry on Easter Sunday (21st of April 2019), where about 20 people braved the sun for an 11 o’clock start. The walk followed a route beside the canal, up and over Downshire bridge and back to the harbour on the other side as Alan gave an interesting and educational perspective on the diversity of flora and fauna which can be found throughout the waterways networks of Ireland. Alan had intended to talk about the Invasive species which can be found within the canal, however the passage of boats made it difficult to identify species within the water. Luckily, the bankside natural habitat and the hedgerows, along with the wildlife in the vicinity provided a range of species for Alan to identify as he discussed them with the group.