Members from Portarlington voluntary organisations joined forces to continue their nature reserve creation work at Marrian Hills Nature Area beside the town's Spa Bridge, just off the Edenderry Rd this month.
The work day took place on Saturday, January 21. It was co-ordinated by the Irish Wildlife Trust Laois-Offaly Branch and saw member representatives from Portarlington; Tidy Towns, Trail Walking Group, Community Development Association, District Gun Club and Wildlife Conservation Group come together to create a new wildlife pond and other habitats for wildlife on site.
The success of the work was heightened by the supply of a compact digger from Laois Hire Portarlington, and carpet remnants from Centrepoint Carpets Portlaoise which helped dig and line the pond.
Brian Gaynor, IWT Laois-Offaly Conservation Officer said the involvement of several groups has made all the difference.
“The cooperation between individuals, organisations and local business to plan and implement this project is hugely encouraging and everybody is to be thanked for their efforts, the next steps at the site is to improve access and put in place wildlife interpretation panels,” he said.
The site was treated as a waste ground and suffered from illegal dumping and anti-social behavior over the years, before the project got underway.
It is hoped that the nature area will become a green resource for the local community.
The site is also equipped with an outdoor classroom and its hoped that local schools, scout groups and others will visit the site to learn about and experience biodiversity for themselves.
Contributions from Laois County Council through the LA21 scheme, local fundraising and voluntary effort have made the project possible.