Sinead McDonnell speaking at the Bruff Envirofest
ON a bright January day, Bruff Tidy Towns held their annual Envirofest in Scoil Dean Cussen Hall. I always find this event a brilliant way to start delivering the important New Year’s resolutions. This revolves around continuing to learn how to better protect the fragile natural world and share this with other people. Doing this in the company of enthusiastic and knowledgeable people at Bruff Envirofest makes it far more enjoyable.
There were lots of stands, workshops and interactive talks and we arrived early before the crowds came.
The natural environment includes us. Bruff Men's shed have been bringing men together since February 2015. New members are always welcome to come in and see what activates the shed gets up to. You can find them find them on Facebook or call 086 3375207.
They were showcasing some of their wares, and they have made bird boxes and a very interesting hotel for bees. I tried my hand at old fashioned spinning top, but my fingers are not designed for delicate jobs. One man proudly showed me a beautiful rocking horse that he had made for his granddaughter. She is only eight months old but will grow up with a beautiful gift.
Kilfinane Art, Crafts and traditional skills group were demonstrating weaving using the natural material, wool from alpacas. Wool is far kinder to the environment, as when it is washed it does not release micro plastics into the oceans. They were making a community collage of a sea scape, and my daughter got to sow in a fish.
I also tried my hand at weaving a rug, and found that I needed to really concentrate. A mother was there with her son, and she showed a completed rug that they had done together. It is brilliant to see these traditional skills been preserved and passed along to the new generation. They are so applicable it todays throwaway society.
Next we chatted to Donal O’Leary who was informing people how to prevent food waste. This is such an important topic as the food we waste impacts nature, climate, water and soil. Schools doing the global citizenship flag, who focus on reducing food waste, can link it into science, history and geography.
Sinead McDonnell, environmental information office with Limerick County Council was on hand, with lots of information on how to help the environment. I picked up a few practical measuring gauges for pasta and rice, and these are really usefully for the budding chefs in my house. For the caffeine addict who is also environmental conscious, there were coffee cups made from organic bamboo. These can be reused and my young lady has commandeered it for her hot chocolate at night.
Tigin honey had a golden display of delicious honey for sale. You can also become a member and support their work. They had a beautiful constructed wasp’s nest that was found in someone shed. The workmanship of nature is amazing.
The main speaker was Dr Fran Giaquinto a botanist who has worked in the Amazon. She spoke about “how to bring biodiversity into your community” and the main threats facing wildlife.
Her message of nature knows best, and take time to walk around your garden or community, and see where the insects and birds are living and nesting is also one I have been promoting. Also that all of nature is connected in our communities and fragmentation of habitats is a major issue.
Other stalls had art and craft and there was tea, coffee and biscuits for all.
A very informative and enjoyable afternoon and well done to all involved for helping to spread the message around how we can live more sustainable lives and protect the natural world.
email@example.com or 089 4230502. Albert is also available to do walk/talks with schools, tidy towns, youth and community groups