New “Amuigh Faoin Spéir” Fund Launched to Boost Biodiversity on Public Land with Outdoor Sports Facilities

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has today confirmed details of the funding available for biodiversity measures at sports facilities under the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund.

Funding of up to €25,000 is available to every Local Sports Partnership to support nature-connected projects at sports facilities that are open to community use. There will be a specific focus on supporting the biodiversity surrounding publicly accessible outdoor sports facilities. Examples of possible projects include biodiversity pollinator-friendly planting, safe nesting sites for birds, bees and bats, the installation of biodiversity ponds, hedgerow and tree planting and rainwater planters.

This is a parallel initiative to the recently launched outdoor sport equipment investment fund, the ‘Participation Nation Outdoor Fund’, which was announced on 3 May by the Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne TD.

The aim of the biodiversity measures confirmed today is to promote the enhancement and protection of nature with a specific focus on supporting the biodiversity of the surrounding environments on such land.

The fund will be overseen by the Department and administered by Sport Ireland with applications open to the network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships.

Minister Martin, said, “Connecting to nature and engaging in physical exercise are recognised as two key wellbeing measures and the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund encourages Local Sports Partnerships to work with their local sports sector to develop initiatives that are of wide benefit and accessible to the community. Improving the biodiversity of our surroundings is also an important measure in combating climate change.

Earlier this month the Department announced funding for a new sports investment fund, the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund and this parallel initiative is a good example of how we can and should always seek to improve and enhance our natural environment when investing in other projects.”

It is appropriate in National Biodiversity Week that I can confirm this funding and I look forward to proposals from the Local Sports Partnerships that will enhance biodiversity and improve access to barrier-free physical activity and help to build happier and healthier communities.”

I’m also delighted today to launch this new fund with the help of Naomh Ólaf, a sports club who were the inspiration for the biodiversity scheme and who already streamline the protection of nature in their sustainability charter.”

(Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media)

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