News & Events

News & Events
  • Celebrating Science Week 2019!
    Celebrating Science Week 2019!

    Science Week 2019 – took place 10th – 16th November 2019. Our Education team partnered with Midland Science Festival and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council to deliver a series of biodiversity workshops as part of Science Week. The workshops were rolled out to 166 primary school children form 5 midlands schools in conjunction with Portlaoise and Edenderry Libraries. This event introduced science and the world around us in an informative but also fun and interesting way. Students had the opportunity to learn and discuss the journey rivers take from source to sea and compare this with the man-made structure of the Grand Canal. As these two features within the Irish landscape pass through our towns and villages the workshops then turned its focus on the variety of wildlife that call these waterbodies their home. The young people taking part had an opportunity to experience life from beneath the water surface with a live freshwater invertebrate identification session. The event provided a great example of how WI strives to be actively engaged in the communities where we operate while promoting the importance of science education to local young people.

  • Bugs & Beasties Halloween Workshop 2019!!
    Bugs & Beasties Halloween Workshop 2019!!

    ​Waterways Ireland along with Source to Tap hosted our "Bugs and Beasties" Halloween workshops at our HQ in Enniskillen last week.

    The workshops brought to life the vast array of species which can be found along our waterways from animals and plants to mini-beasts. Six schools from Fermanagh took part in the workshops on Thursday 24th & Friday 25th October last. Each group learned about the importance of biodiversity and fully functioning ecosystems and discussed the relationships between organisms within food webs. The schools children also got the opportunity to get hands on with a pond dipping exercise and were challenged to identify the various species they found! Feedback from schools who took part in the workshops has been very positive. Both students and teachers were full of questions and eager to impart their local knowledge about their local waterway.

    Happy Halloween everybody!

  • LELP & Share Centre Schools Convention
    LELP & Share Centre Schools Convention

    ​Waterways Ireland was delighted to be part of the schools convention at Share Discovery Village as part of their LELP project in September. The aim of the convention was to provide primary schools pupils with a unique opportunity to learn and participate in the natural and built heritage of Upper Lough Erne, to develop skills and to learn how to conserve and be a part of their natural environment.

    Over 350 local children from 15 schools, mainly in Primary 6, had the opportunity to spend half of the day out canoeing on the lough with Share Discovery Village and Erne Paddlers and the other half of the day was spent attending nature based educational workshops with specialist organisations.

    The event was a great opportunity to network with other organisations who work with schools throughout Fermanagh including: the RSPB, Fermanagh Beekeepers Association, Butterfly Conservation, Bug Life, Source to Tap, Marble Arch Global Geopark and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

  • Exploring Devenish Island 2019
    Exploring Devenish Island 2019

    We were delighted to be back on the beautiful Devenish Island for our Island Explorers Programme this Autumn. The programme took place in September with everybody fresh after summer break and eager to participate. In excess of 50 Students from 2 Primary schools, St. Joseph's Ederney and St. Mary's Newtownbutler took part in this year's programme. St. Joesph's PS had just completed a project about the monastic settlement on Devenish while St. Mary's PS were studying the Vikings. Both schools were delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the hands on and interactive Island Explorers Programme which linked directly and complimented their curriculum based class work. This programme introduces participants to the rich ecological and heritage value of the iconic island on Lough Erne complimented by the physical activity of rowing a traditional currach.

    Feedback from both schools was very positive: "An absolutely fabulous day. Well organised. All staff were so knowledgeable and welcoming. We would go again in the morning! Well done". Liam Moanghan, Principal, St. Josephs's PS Ederney. "The programme was wonderful, very informative and exciting". Paula Kelly Principal St. Mary's PS Newtownbutler.

    Looking forward to returning the Devenish in 2020!

  • Lock Visits 2019!
    Lock Visits 2019!

    ​Waterways Irelands annual Lock Visits along the Grand and Royal canals in Dublin took place  on 11th June 2019. Three groups from St. Patrick's NS Diswellstown visited the 12th Lock Castleknock on the Royal Canal. Each group met our Lock Keeper PJ Massey who provided students with the opportunity to see first-hand how the canals lock systems work! He also spoke to each group about the importance of water safety and told them a little bit about the history of the canal.

    Meanwhile students from Catherine Mc Auley NS on Baggot Street and St. Peters Special School in Rathgar were visiting the Grand Canal. Our lock Keeper Stephen Brierly met both groups at Lock No. 4 on Mespil Road. Not only did the children see how the locks worked from the canal bank but they were also given the opportunity to go through the lock aboard the Riasc barge!

    Each year Waterways Ireland Engineers and Lock Keepers share their expertise by hosting site visits with local school groups which always prove extremely popular, booking up well in advance. If you would be interested in taking part in one of Waterways Irelands Lock Visits please let us know by contacting: learning@waterwaysireland.org

  • Biodiversity Week 2019!!
    Biodiversity Week 2019!!

    National Biodiversity Week took place from 18th-  26th May 2019. The aim of the programme is to connect people with nature and show the fun and wonder that can be found outside. To celebrate the event this year, Waterways Ireland hosted a series of Biodiversity Week workshops through our Education Programme. We were delighted to welcome 590 primary level students across Ireland and Northern Ireland to take part in our workshops.

    Students from 14 schools participated in the workshops which took place along the waterway corridor as follows:

    -Naas on the Grand Canal, Naas branch

    -Drumshanbo on the Lough Allen Canal

    -Toomebridge on the Lower Bann

    -Mosstown on the Royal Canal

    -Ballyconnell on the Shannon-Erne Waterway

    -Robertstown on the Grand Canal

    -Killaloe on the River Shannon

    -Enniskillen on the Erne

    Tailored to each individual area, the workshops aimed to showcase the important biodiversity value their local waterway has to offer and motivate participants to play their part in protecting it. Each group were introduced to the vast array of wildlife that call the waterways their home. They learned how to identify some of the plants and trees along the waterway and they even came face to face with some mini beasts living there! 

    We were delighted to work with environmental experts from organisations including RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), Source to Tap and Irish Peatland Conservation Council to deliver the workshops in conjunction with Waterways Ireland Education and Environment teams. Feedback from schools who took part in the workshops has been very positive. Both students and teachers were full of questions and eager to impart their local knowledge about their local waterway.

    "It was really inclusive and informative. The students really enjoyed getting hands on with the creatures and they were given lots of opportunity to ask questions. The students enjoyed learning about the relevant local history too. It was very well planned and age appropriate! Thank you very much!" St. Dominic’s N.S, Kenagh Co. Longford.