Irish Waterways Ecology Ambassadors
Recently I took part in an eight week training course run in Graiguenamanagh aimed at becoming a Waterways Ecology Ambassador. Run from the newly established Waterways College located on the grounds of the Waterways Activity Hub, the course provided training in how best to protect and promote our waterways within our local communities. This included modules on river wildlife, citizen science and invasive species. The course blended classroom study with hands-on water quality testing and local habitats assessment. Students and waterways enthusiasts taking part in the course were out regularly on the river Barrow, river Nore and their tributaries; discovering and learning as they investigated river-life via boat trips, kayaking trips or on foot. The course was both funded and run by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership in conjunction with Carlow & Kilkenny ETB and specialist training firm, Veri. I think it’s fair to say that all participants were in agreement as to the value training such as this provides and many have already expressed their wish that courses such as this be extended further afield throughout the towns and communities based on Ireland’s waterways. For me, I’d like to express my gratitude to Kilkenny LEADER Partnership for having the opportunity to take part in this new initiative. And to the staff and lecturers of Veri that delivered some fantastically engaging lectures and course material throughout the eight weeks, I enjoyed it immensely. I now look forward to both utilising the skills I’ve gained in advocating for the further protection, promotion and development of our waterways over the coming month and years. If anyone would be interested in a course such as this, check out the website at Waterways College I’d highly recommend it. Well done all involved. I loved it!