Enhancement scheme funds available

All About Cork – Heritage Highlights

Members of Cork County Council’s heritage unit at their stall during last weekend’s Cork Summer Show
Members of Cork County Council’s heritage unit at their stall during last weekend’s Cork Summer Show

The County of Cork is one of the lucky ones when it comes to people taking pride in their local area, represented by many hundreds of community groups throughout the County.

Many of these groups have received funding in 2018 for a range of different projects, and Cork County Council has now just recently announced a new grant scheme aimed at Community and Voluntary Groups, titled the ‘Community Enhancement Programme 2018’.

The scheme is an opportunity for community groups to access funding for capital projects to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas or in order to kick-start, advance or complete their projects. It is funded by the Department of Rural & Community Development with support from the Local Community Development Committees (LCDC) of Cork County Council.

There are two types of grants available under this Programme, which are small scale capital grants up to a sum of €1,000 and a larger capital grant, providing funding in excess of €1,000 for a range of different projects. Such projects include Youth Clubs or facilities; Sports / Recreation Facilities; Development and Improvements to community centres and common areas; upgrading of community amenities/equipment and energy efficiency type projects, amongst others.

Many projects of a heritage or Creative Ireland nature would very much be in keeping with this scheme and to apply and in order to find out more visit the news section of www.corkcoco.ie.

Of note in relation to the scheme is that the closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday, July 30.

National Heritage Week

Another closing date, and one much nearer, is in relation to this year’s National Heritage Week, which will run from Saturday ,August 18 to Sunday 26.

Each year Cork County Council puts out a number of Heritage Week Event Guides for County Cork, detailing a whole range of events taking place throughout the County and throughout the Week.

For any event organisers looking to have details of their event(s) included in the guide they are requested to register their event on line, via www.heritageweek.ie prior to Friday, June 29.

Already over 130 events have been registered to take place and with the year being the European Year of Cultural Heritage it is hoped that Heritage Week 2018 will see the best range and number of events yet.

Peatlands Engagement Scheme

Another funding scheme currently open for applications is the National Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme, a scheme which was announced recently by Josepha Madigan T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Minister stated that “funding of up to €160,000 will be available in 2018 on a pilot basis to support a diverse range of initiatives from events, education programmes, promotions, exhibitions and local area improvements to invasive species control near or within raised bog Special Areas of Conservation, Natural Heritage Areas or other raised bog areas.”

The Minister added “I am hopeful that this scheme will encourage communities to become involved in the enhancement of their local raised bog areas and to raise awareness of our natural environment.”

The County of Cork is home to a number of bogs and it is hoped that this scheme will see some take-up from groups within the County.

Details of the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme and the Application Form needed to apply are available at https://www.npws.ie/peatlands-and-turf-cutting/peatlands-community-engagement-scheme and a closing date of Monday, July 16 has been set for the scheme.

Bogs are classified as wetlands around the world and for people interested in learning more about them, their importance and the biodiversity contained within, the Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee (a national groups consisting of colleges, the Heritage Council, the EPA, NPWS and other State Bodies) has recently released a most useful publication – ‘Irish Wetland Types – An Identification Guide and Field Survey Manual’. 

In relation to Irish Wetlands, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has noted that while there are “45 wetland sites in Ireland that are of international standard, there are also thousands of smaller, but still valuable, wetland sites across the country. They are an important part of our wider environment, helping to underpin our economy and wellbeing.  They are worthy of protection, not alone because of the biodiversity they support, but also because of the role they play in providing essential ecosystem services – for example through flood attenuation and regulation of water quality.” 

The manual provides information for the non-specialist on the different types of wetlands in Ireland and how to identify them.

Dr. Jonathan Derham, Programme Manager of the EPA said, “the biodiversity of wetlands in Ireland has been estimated to be worth €385 million per year to the Irish economy, not including that generated through tourism.  Ireland’s wetlands include bogs, rivers, lakes, ponds, turloughs, estuaries, and marsh land.  Key to understanding and protecting these valuable cultural and economic assets is to be able to recognise and classify them.”

“A critical aspect of understanding how our landscape and environment supports our health, wellbeing and economy is to learn to see it.  Too often irreparable damage is done before land users, developers and communities come to recognise what it is they are interfering with (e.g. through drainage, infill, etc.).  Part of the challenge of any aspect of environmental preservation is recognising the public asset and the essential services our environment provides.”  An electronic version of the manual and accompanying field survey form is available for free download on-line at www.npws.ie/news.

Cruinníu na nÓg

As we turn our attention to upcoming events, this coming Saturday will have something in store for young people of all ages throughout the length and breadth of the country.

Saturday, June 23 is Cruinniú na nÓg, a new national day of culture for children, which is all about encouraging the young ones amongst us to get creative and learn about, enjoy and participate in the culture that is part of them and all around them.

More than 25 events have been scheduled throughout the County, with considerable thanks to Cork County Council’s Library & Arts Service, Creative Ireland Office and a range of wonderful community groups throughout the County.

It hoped that people of all ages really get involved on the day.

To the see the list of events and find out more about Cruinniú na nÓg and the Creative Ireland Programme as a whole visit the heritage section of www.corkcoco.ie and visit https://creative.ireland.ie/cruinniu/.

Archaeology Talk at County Hall

Following the weekend on Wednesday, June 27 there will be a talk in the County Hall titled ‘From Bronze Age Cooking to 17th century milling: the emerging archaeology of the N22 Baile Bhúirne to Macroom Road Development’.

The talk which takes place between 1pm and 1.45pm in the Council Chamber will be given by TII Archaeologist Ken Hanley.

On-going archaeological excavations being undertaken on behalf of Cork County Council/TII in advance of construction of the N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom road have unearthed a fascinating array of previously unknown sites. Discoveries include some very large fulachtaí fia (cooking sites) of likely Bronze Age date, prehistoric cremations, an early medieval ringfort and a milling complex of probable 17th century date and much more.

Organised by the Training and Development Section of Cork it should be a most fascinating event. Please note that space will be limited at the event and to book a place email [email protected] prior to Friday, June 22.