Kildare Bat Group members also participate in the All Ireland Daubenton’s Bat Monitoring Scheme – Lucy and I have a transect on the Royal Canal between Maynooth and Kilcock west of Jackson’s Bridge. The Group was given a map of all the survey sites in Kildare a few years ago (by Bat Conservation Ireland) which was a bit hard to interpret, as there are so many waterways in Kildare, so I superimposed the waterways by hand which helped to put it in a different perspective. We’re hoping that we might be able to get a student from Maynooth University to take this on as a nice GIS project sometime.
Kildare has two major rivers, the Liffey and the Barrow, plus tributaries such as the Rye. It also has the three major canals, Royal Canal, Grand Canal and Barrow Line, plus branches such as the Naas/Corbally branch and the Milltown Feeder which flows out of Pollardstown Fen. I have very fond memories of some of these waterways.
There are also some wonderful aqueducts – the eagle-eyed out there might be able to spot the locations of three of them even from this imperfect map. This is something I hope to return to especially if I can get some good photos.
Kildare Bat Group is a small enthusiastic bunch of people, headed up by the irrepressible Anna Collins, which punches way above its weight. I am not one of its more active members so I’m not claiming any of these plaudits for myself! Its activities range from the community to the technical. On the community side, it hooks up with three Tidy Towns groups every year (liaising with Kildare County Council) providing them with support, public bat walks are held and promotional activities are undertaken. The technical activities include workshops, carrying out bat counts and erecting and monitoring bat boxes. In the photo below, Tina is erecting a bat box in Donadea in January 2012 with lots of willing helpers.