“Welcome news with grants of up €5,000 announced to capture and record Ireland’s natural history” – Minister Joe O’Brien

1st March, 2023

Minister Joe O’Brien has welcomed the news that his Green Party colleague, Minister Malcolm Noonan has opened the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government’s grant scheme to ensure Ireland’s natural history is captured and recorded.

The scheme, managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, aims to help established naturalists recording in Ireland to maintain and enhance their expertise in species identification, and to develop the next generation of natural history recorders. Applications under the scheme for 2023 are now being sought.

Minister O’Brien said: “Fingal, and indeed Ireland, has a long tradition of natural history recording, and natural history recorders are recognised as vital in maintaining the quality of information on Ireland’s native species and natural and semi-natural habitats. The work of our local communities on the ground in Fingal in this area is to be commended, however, the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage recognises these individuals and groups – needs support to carry out their important work.”

Grants are available for volunteer, unpaid recorders, or groups, societies and associations of recorders who have limited or no access to financial supports for their work. This is the fifth year of the grant scheme and it has supported over 70 projects to date.

Grants under the scheme in the past have covered the entire range of Irish natural history including site recording of biological groups (e.g. moths, other terrestrial invertebrates, bats, plants and marine organisms), support for publications and websites and support to purchase specialist equipment.

The data generated by recording projects is utilised by the NPWS to inform its understanding of the distribution and ecology of many species and to assess their status. In turn, it informs advice on nature conservation objectives and practical measures to protect species and habitats.

Minister Noonan said: “I’m delighted to announce that this popular scheme is open to applications again this year. We’ve seen some great work done in local communities through this scheme and I’m proud to support the work of our specialist recorders with these grants. I hope, given the increased time people have spent engaging with nature over recent years that more nature enthusiasts will apply for this funding and join this vibrant network.”

“This scheme also supports the work of the NPWS in recording many aspects of individual species and provides great value to our Department in establishing useful data to support conservation.”

Applications should be submitted by 5pm on 31st March 2023. The form and further details can be found at https://www.npws.ie/news/npws-grants-small-recording-projects-2023

Application forms will ONLY be accepted by email submission to biodiversitypolicy@housing.gov.ie.