OPW to host Biodiversity Festival and 6th Annual Honey Show at Phoenix Park

Three-day family-friendly event to educate visitors on biodiversity and bee-friendly gardening

The 6th Annual Office of Public Works (OPW) Biodiversity Festival & Honey Show will take place in Phoenix Park from Friday 9 until Sunday 11 September 2022. Tours, lectures, and family activities will take place throughout the weekend. All events are free; however, booking is required for some as places are limited.

Welcoming the announcement of the 6th Annual Phoenix Park Honey Show, Chief Park Superintendent (OPW) Margaret Gormley said: “Bees are an important aid in conserving the biodiversity of the Phoenix Park and surrounding areas. With over 17 hives spread throughout the park and managed sustainably by the OPW gardeners, the flora of the Park has benefited considerably. Over 70% of the 100 food crops that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees. We hope that you enjoy our Biodiversity Festival and 6th Annual Honey Show.”

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD commented: Biodiversity is essential for life. Our planet, society and our economy depend on it. The Phoenix Park is a highly important site for biodiversity in Dublin and is an extremely rich biodiversity resource. It is wonderful to see the return of the Phoenix Park Biodiversity Festival. This year’s festival has something for everyone, both online or at the many outdoor activities planned over the weekend.”

The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association President (FIBKA) Paul O’Brien said: “We are delighted to work with the OPW on its 6th Annual Biodiversity Festival and Honey Show. The Phoenix Park is a great example of how nature can be intertwined with the urban environment. There is much debate today on the importance of biodiversity to our environment, climate, health, economy, and personal wellbeing. Bees are an integral part of the biodiversity of this country. The Biodiversity Festival and Honey Show competition brings together all the different aspects of our beekeeping craft and highlights the importance of beekeeping and all aspects of biodiversity. It promises to be a day filled with excitement and fun, suitable for both young and old.”

Free educational workshops and talks are available to all on bee-friendly gardening, beekeeping, and a variety of biodiversity and sustainability related topics throughout the weekend. Visitors can take in an opportunity to view the wonderful night sky with the Irish Astronomical Society or to join the Dublin Bat Group on their Bats of the Phoenix Park tour, while families can join an OPW Park Ranger for a detailed history of the fallow deer or a walking tour around Ashtown Castle Arboretum.

Earlier this year, the OPW launched its Biodiversity Action Strategy to improve biodiversity across its entire operations, setting out how it will work towards protecting and promoting biodiversity for the next five years. In its management of Phoenix Park, the OPW has taken biodiversity-sensitive measures, including wildlife sensitive grass management, with the aim of securing and sustaining the Park’s biodiversity value into the future, protecting its key habitats and species, enhancing their status, recreating valuable wildlife habitats, and introducing appropriate species to increase the biodiversity value of the park and its habitats.


Online Biodiversity Lunch Time Talks Schedule

Monday 5th September 1pm: Spreading Seeds of Doubt Dr. Noeleen Smyth, Assistant Professor at UCD

Tuesday 6th September 1pm: Global Food and Biodiversity Irene Sullivan, Education Officer, Global Action Plan

Wednesday 7th September 1pm: Ponds as Reservoirs for Biodiversity Aoife O’Rourke, Pond Development Officer, EU Legacy4LIFE Project, An Taisce

Thursday 8th September 1pm: ‘Biodiversity in Action’ OPW’s Biodiversity Action Strategy 2022-2026 Margaret Gormley, OPW Chief Park Superintendent

Friday 9th September 1pm: Meadows at Kilmacurragh Seamus O’Brien, OPW Head Gardener Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens

All Lunchtime Talks are approx. 30 minutes long and are available on the OPW YouTube channel.