Schools, family groups, gardening enthusiasts and lovers of nature and the great outdoors across Waterford city and county will revel in the wide  programme of events as part of this year’s Bealtaine Living Earth Festival. It runs from May 18 to 26 right across the South East. Full details of the festival with booking details at:

Calmast, the South East Technological University’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Engagement Centre, is proud to partner with groups across the South East to deliver events in Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Wexford.  The festival aims to encourage people young and old to explore the local heritage and biodiversity of the South East, with expert guides. This is the 17th year of the festival.

This year the festival is delighted to bring Irelands best loved Wildlife and Biodiversity expert Eanna Ni Lamhna to St Patricks Gateway, Waterford City on Sunday May 19th at 3pm. Eanna will talk about the importance of protecting our bees and other pollinators.  Eanna is the author of several books including Wild Dublin – Wild Things at School and her latest one for children, Wonders of the Wild.  Eanna will be joined by Aidan O Hanlon from the National Museum, and Yvonne Grace,  Horticulture lecturer in SETU who advise on the best garden plants for pollinators.

The festival progamme includes free guided woodland walks, a Seashore Safari, geology tours of the Copper Coast, City Diversity walks and more!

The festival kicks off on May 18th at 12 noon where the wonderful OPW guides in JFK Arboretum Wexford will help families make a stunning nature Mandela. Monday 20th will see Robbie Galvin, of the Copper Coast Geopark lead a geology tour of Annestown Beach. On Friday 24th a poetry reading celebrating the biodiversity of Kilfarrasy and the Copper Coast with poet Mark Roper will take place.  The Sea Gardener, Marie Power, will lead a Rocky Shore Safari at Annestown Beach in Waterford on Saturday 25th.

A really special event takes place in Lafcadio Hearn Gardens in Tramore, focusing on Tramore's Natural Heritage on May 25th at 12 noon. In collaboration with Tramore Eco Group, guest speakers will provide visitors with insight on the ecology of Tramore, and the local sand dunes which can be seen from the gardens. Visitors can also enjoy a walk through the Japanese Gardens, where music will be provided by the Bealtaine Choir. It promises to be a memorable afternoon.

Other events on the programme include Dave’s Jungle which is open to schools to book throughout the week.

“We are excited to host so many amazing workshops and talks, it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the beautiful flora and fauna to locals and tourists alike” said Sheila Donegan Festival Coordinator

The festival takes place through financial support from Waterford City and County Council festival funds, with support from STEM companies in the region, Waterford based Bausch & Lomb, West Pharma, Haleon, Teva and Sanofi.

There is a wide variety of events on offer all surrounding the theme of biodiversity. For the full festival programme and to book places, check out the Bealtine festival website at​