BY JACKIE KEOGH
WORK on planting Skibbereen’s first biodiversity roundabout has been completed.
The project was devised by Skibbereen Garden Centre as a way of not only boosting the area’s biodiversity, but also boosting Skibbereen’s chances in this year’s Tidy Towns competition.
Mark Lee, who runs the family business on the Tragumna Road, said: ‘We didn’t use any sprays or weed killers – all of which makes it bee and insect-friendly. And, as it develops, it should continue to improve biodiversity at what is a busy intersection in the town centre.’
Mark confirmed that the roundabout has already been featured on Biodiversity Ireland’s map of the country, which honours people, businesses and organisations who voluntarily do their bit to help reduce reliance on sprays, increase planting, and help support our bee population.
Mark said they approached the Council with the idea and suggested that instead of strimming the grass mounds around the art installations, it would be better to plant it.
When they were given the go-ahead to carry out this altruistic project, Mark said they started by putting down weed mat and gravel one Wednesday, and followed that up with planting on Thursday and Friday, leaving just a 4-5m trim of grass for the Council to mow on an ongoing basis.
‘It looks good now,’ said Mark, ‘but the first real show will be next year when the shrubs and herbaceous plants – which include buddleia, cotoneasters, geraniums, foxgloves, sedum, lavender and verbena – have matured.’
Signs asking people not to spray a border of grass have also appeared alongside the new bridge on the left of the Ballydehob Road out of Skibbereen.