Eco Notes June

June 2024

June often sees the brightening of ditches and village and townscapes, with cascades of both native and domestic flowers dotting the roadsides. Flowering plants can be expensive to buy, with many being imported from overseas. To reduce the cost, both to one’s pocket and the environment (in terms of air miles and the possibility of importing plant diseases), it is a good idea to sow flower seeds oneself. It is immensely satisfying to observe the first leaves burst out of the ground and, within a matter of weeks, turn into a brilliant display of colour. Of course, if you don’t have the time or inclination to sow seeds, many garden centres supply a great variety of seedlings and these can be potted on (buy Irish plants where possible). For those who enjoy having cut flowers in the house, sweet pea, as one example, is easy to grow and goes on flowering for weeks, provided the flowers are cut regularly. Towards the end of the season, seeds can be let form and these can be saved for sowing the next year. This is better than buying imported cut flowers. Growing pollinator friendly flowers is a bonus for wildlife too. Enjoy!

Choir of St Bartholomew’s church,

We were delighted to welcome friends from Wicklow, Greystones, Newcastle and Calary who joined us for Evensong on Sunday 21st April in Nun’s Cross Church. The service was sung by the choir of St Bartholomew’s church, Dublin directed by its choir master, Ben Barnes.
The congregation totalled almost 70 and the proceeds of the collection will be added to the Nun’s Cross Restoration Fund launched last autumn to raise money for the conservation and restoration of Nun’s Cross Church.  One new approach we are taking to fundraising for this project is the use of a QR Code and App which allows people to donate remotely and as often as desired, by credit or debit cards. This is proving popular amongst many “Friends of the Parish” as well as with our own parishioners.
The choir and congregation were hosted for a reception afterwards in the church and grateful thanks is rendered to those who provided for this, which provided an opportunity for old friendships to be rekindled and new ones forged.
Killiskey parish would like to express its gratitude to Mr Ben Barnes and the choir of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Clyde Road, Dublin for celebrating this feast of beautiful music and praise, once again, which is now an annual event in Killiskey’s diary. We look forward to their next visit with anticipation!

Easter Vestry

The Easter Vestry took place in Nun’s Cross, Killiskey on 14 April, during the 11.15am service. Many thanks to those who attended and gave their input. Those appointed by the parish to serve as office holders for the coming year are:

Hazel Bayley (Rector’s Churchwarden)

Juliet Belton (People’s Churchwarden)

David Harte (Rector’s Glebewarden)

John Smyth (People’s Glebewarden)

Justine Baumann (Hon Sec)

Scott Golden (Hon Treas)

Sonia Appelbe

Patricia Butler

Bernadette Glover

Tim Hicks

Amanda Mooney

Michael Norman

Ivan Sheane

Sarah Slater

Lucy Tottenham

Eco Notes May

May 2024

“The Humble Spud”

Potatoes. The staple of the Irish diet down through the years, when nearly everyone used to grow their own. Now, fewer people “go to the bother”. However, not only have the numbers of commercial growers in Ireland decreased in recent years, but owing to record rainfall levels this spring, most potato farmers could not plant their potatoes on time. Thus, a shortage for consumers is predicted for later on in the year. We can’t rely on imports either, as other countries have also suffered inclement weather. If everyone in Ireland, who was in a position to do so, could grow even a few spuds of their own, it would alleviate the predicted shortfall in the autumn. It is too late to buy seed potatoes now, but shop-bought potatoes that have begun to sprout could be planted. For those without a large garden, they can be grown in a large box or plastic sack, even on a patio. The rewards of eating delicious home-grown potatoes will be well worth the small amount of effort involved and might perhaps foster an interest in, and appreciation of the joys of, growing vegetables. 

Eco Notes – April

April 2024

Biodiversity project – create a pond

Creating a pond is a wonderful way to aid and abet biodiversity. If this sounds daunting or unfeasible, be advised that even an old sink could provide a small, but invaluable, wildlife haven. Be mindful, however, if using a steep-sided container to install stones as steps so that animals can get in and out of the water; otherwise, even good swimmers may drown. The best advice is to go to the An Taisce website and download their detailed and highly informative leaflet entitled “How to Create & Manage a Pond for Wildlife”. In brief, a few pointers to get you started include: choose a sunny location for your pond. Choose a location other than a rare or valuable habitat. A naturally damp spot works well. Place your pond near existing wildlife corridors if possible. The sides of the pond should have shallow gradients at the edges to assist access for wildlife. Let the pond fill with rainwater rather than chlorinated tap water. To test if your land is free-draining, dig some trial pits and see if the water is retained or drains away. If the latter, then a pond liner will be required. Details of types and amounts of liner – and lots more information – are given in the An Taisce leaflet.