A NEW illustrated, full-colour guide gives a vivid insight into the teeming flora, fauna and sheer biodiversity of nature in the Abbeyfeale town park.
Entitled, Abbeyfeale Park, A Nature Guide, the 128-page guide is a joint venture by ecologist Anneke Vrieling and the Abbeyfeale Anglers Association, with support from West Limerick Resources.
The book is the result of three years of observing and recording wildlife in the park by Ms Vrieling and the text is illustrated by dozens of photos. Central to the book is the ecology of the park, how the species interact with each other and with their environment, often highlighting how the most common, least loved species play the most significant roles in the park’s ecology.
“The book is divided into sections and includes questions and answers about each section,” explains Ms Vrieling. “Also included are tips for recording wildlife and on how to submit sightings.” The guide, she says, will be useful to visitors to the park as well as to primary and secondary school students.
“The Abbeyfeale Anglers Association was delighted to be able to work with Anneke on this project,” says Dee Dennison, association chairperson, adding that Ms Vrieling’s passion for her subject shows on every page. “Her keen understanding of the balance of local ecology and of the dangers which invasive species pose to our local flora and fauna is shared by many members of our group who have witnessed over the years both the beauty of our natural landscape and the damage which is going on unnoticed and unchecked.”
All proceeds of the sale of the book, which costs €10, will go to the Feale Biodiversity Fund, a project spearheaded by the Abbeyfeale Anglers. The group has already undertaken substantial work to address the growing problem of invasive species, particularly Himalayan Balsam which is choking out native vegetation and resulting in erosion of river banks, threatening the natural habitat of salmon, trout and other fish, and of fish-eaters like the kingfisher and otter, along the Oolagh and Allaghaun, tributaries of the Feale.
“This book is a fantastic resource and record of local flora and fauna, the first of its kind concentrating specifically on the Abbeyfeale area,” Shay Riordan, manager of West Limerick Resources said at the launch. The book is available from the town park and selected shops locally.