Highlights of 2022 at Wildacres

 

What a year 2022 was!

After working hard on the land restoring habitats for the previous four years, we finally opened in March 2022 for private and scheduled, tours and workshops, for individuals, community groups and corporates.

The feedback has been wonderful, and heartening.

Our feature image is of a super day we had in September when the hardworking Yahoo Team came to Wildacres for their Volunteer day. The fabulous group of 17 got loads of jobs done with us, the sun shone all day and we enjoyed lots of fun moments such as the pictured hay throwing competition!

Holly in berry on the Redcross River

 

2023 got off to a busy start with many individuals and couples booking in for private tours despite the variable weather and we have many corporate enquiries too but  we’d like to take stock and share with you some highlights of the wonderful year gone by.

Habitat Restoration

We were thrilled recently to get some publicitywith RTE News and have the chance to speak about habitat restoration and biodiversity conservation. You can see the coverage and video here and other media coverage we were grateful to get.

Equally rewarding, as the land heals and the habitats we have created have begun to flourish, has been the influx of wildlife making Wildacres Nature Reserve its home and stopping off during migration journeys.

It has been wonderful to see the countless flocks of House Martins and Swallows that stopped off to drink and feed on our wildlife ponds and wildflower meadow in late summer, as they departed on their epic migration to spend the winter in Sub–Saharan Africa.  What truly amazing creatures!

House martins use our ponds to drink, bathe and feed on insects

House martins feeding, drinking and bathing on the main pond at Wildacres

 

Another major highlight for us in 2022 was to see our resident Pine marten we have regularly captured on our trail camera, hunting at night in the unimproved grassland and escaped hedgerows.

Having been nearly hunted and driven to extinction in Ireland it is slowly making a very welcome comeback. Cait Crann as it is known in Irish, which translates as Tree Cat, is a fascinating mammal. They have been proven to be instrumental in the recovery of our precious Red Squirrel population.

Pine marten hunting at Wildacres – image captured on our Trail Camera

 

New Years Resolution!

We really do believe there is a groundswell of real desire to see habitats and nature restored across the island of Ireland.

And we can guarantee, the satisfaction and enjoyment to be got from doing this, from taking the smallest of actions to help biodiversity on a balcony, to transforming your garden into a nature friendly space, to rewilding large tracts of land, is both immeasurable and way beyond anything money could buy.

Why not make a resolution that 2023 will be the year we all act to restore and protect our native wildlife.

If you have a garden or are part of a community garden you may like to book into our Gardening for Biodiversity Workshop scheduled for May 2023. There are still some places left – early booking advisable.

Naturally regenerated wildflower meadow at Wildacres

Cuckooflower and Creeping Buttercup love the damp conditions of the Wildacres Wildflower Meadow

 

Creating a Wildlife Pond

At Wildacres ponds are a huge part of what we do. We are now working on Pond 15 and who knows where it will end…. They are incredible for wildlife!

We began hosting ‘Creating Wildlife Ponds’ Workshops in September 2022, in collaboration with the An Taisce Ponds for Biodiversity Team. These sell-out events were a great success and highlight the fact that there is real appetite for habitat restoration.

Those who attended loved getting up close to the pond wildlife and seeing the myriad of fascinating creatures that live in and around freshwater wildlife ponds.

Female Blue-tailed Damselfly at Wildacres

We have a range of tours and workshops scheduled which can now be booked, so why not treat yourself, a friend or family member to one.

Book a tour or workshop here

A great day out and a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded nature-loving people.

Private Tours at Wildacres

Private Friend Group Tours

Trinity Friend Group enjoy Private Tour at Wildacres over Christmas Holidays

 

 Creating the Birthday Wildlife Pond

 On the land itself habitat restoration and creation continued right throughout the year with the creation of quite a few new wildlife ponds.

The Birthday Pond was an interesting project!

For Brian’s birthday Gilly gifted the weekend hire of a 3 tonne digger. (Romance is alive and well). It duly arrived and then it suddenly dawned on us that this machine was not going to be as easy as we thought to operate. After a couple of scares, we eventually got the hang of it and voila after a long weekend, we had created pond 13 !!

Creating The Birthday Pond at Wildacres

 

We have lots of exciting plans for 2023 to make the nature reserve even better for both wildlife and visitors.

Everything from new workshops themed around habitat creation to features on Wildacres to make the land even more attractive to biodiversity such as planting more hedgerow, creating more ponds (of course!) and various other installations to attract, monitor and showcase our beautiful native Irish Wildlife.

Stunning Elephant Hawkmoth at Wildacres

A true highlight of 2022 was meeting the many amazing and wonderful visitors to Wildacres.

We genuinely Thank You for your support and kind words and reviews that have made the hard work all worth while.

As a social enterprise the cost of setting up and restoring habitats and running costs of wildacres have been considerable. Though it makes it so encouraging to see the enthusiasm and energy of visitors after having visited Wildacres and their determination to act themselves to restore biodiversity.

Whether it is a sink bowl wildlife pond on a balcony and some wildflowers in pots, to larger pond creation in gardens and planting of native trees/shrubs and wildflower mini meadows, or to people who have land on a larger scale to rewild.

We welcome Community Groups

We had the pleasure of hosting a group from the Ukrainian Community at Wildacres in July 2022

 

Thanks again to you all for making 2022 such a rewarding year at Wildacres and here’s to a nature filled 2023!

Lots of love

Brian & Gilly.

Warm welcome awaits at Wildacres

Brian and Gilly at entrance to Wildacres

 

The Wildacres Eco Friendly Range of Gifts https://wildacres.ie/shop/

Why not treat a family member, friend or why not yourself to one of our eco gifts, knowing all proceeds go back into the Wildacres Social Enterprise to protect Irish Biodiversity. 

We have a wonderful Wall Calendar 2023 printed on recycled paper with stunning photos we have taken of wildlife on Wildacres, and full of monthly Nature Tips to bring more wildlife into your outdoor spaces. Or whah about one of our Gift card packs again featuring gorgeous pictures of Wildacres biodiversity.

Go Onn… Go Onn… Go Onnn…Treat Yourself (or others)😊

Wildacres Eco Wildlife Wall Calendar 2023 – packed full of nature tips