Fenor, County Waterford is this year’s national winner of the Tidy Towns Biodiversity ‘Notice Nature’ Award. The local Tidy Towns Committee’s initiatives to promote Fenor Bog – a 32-acre area rich in flora and fauna and a habitat to over 300 species of plants, birds, insects and animals – were commended by Emma El-Sahn, spokesperson for the campaign organisers.
In developing the valley fen, declared a National Nature Reserve in 2004, volunteers from the village and surrounding areas planted hardwood trees, installed bat boxes and surveyed the site. The committee also organise guided tours for schools and the general public on a specially-constructed boardwalk into the heart of the bogland.
“The Fenor Bog area is a very special, peaceful place. It was important to us not only conserve the area but to open it up so that the whole community can enjoy it,” says Jimmie O’Sullivan, Fenor Tidy Towns Committee.
Since 2006, the Tidy Towns competition has included a special category on wildlife and natural amenities for initiatives which foster biodiversity and the natural environment. The ‘Notice Nature’ Award (sponsored by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government’s National Parks and Wildlife Service) rewards actions taken to conserve, enhance and create local wildlife areas such as ponds and hedgerows.
The Irish Peatland Conservation Council, in association with the Moin Fhionnurach Development Association purchased the Bog in June 1999 with the help of donations from local supporters.