Mayor of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley. Photo: Brian Lougheed

County Mayor's DiaryCllr Mary Linehan Foley

Our green spaces and nature have been a big comfort during lockdown with many of us finding that spending time in nature supported both our mental and physical wellbeing.

Last week we celebrated National Biodiversity Week, an annual event all about connecting people with nature with a special focus on the importance of biodiversity.

The populations of many of our pollinator species are declining in numbers, and I was sad to learn than one third of our native bee species are vulnerable to extinction.

Doing its part for biodiversity, Cork County Council has been busy as a bee, rolling out Pollinator Plans, in collaboration with local communities, for six more county towns - Carrigaline, Kinsale, Bantry, Macroom, Kanturk and Fermoy.

I’m delighted to see these new towns come onboard to become more pollinator friendly.

It's essential that these habitats are provided and protected, and I look forward to seeing more towns and villages following suit.

There’s a buzz of a different kind in the air with the re-opening of many of our visitor attractions.

It’s great to see admission charges to all OPW heritage sites are being waived until the end of the year. We’ve a wealth of attractions here in Cork county to visit and personally I’m looking forward to rediscovering all the county has to offer with the help of the Council’s new Explore Cork app.

For many years, the council has been recording Cork county’s rich heritage with a series of books, the most recent of which ‘The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork’ was published last year.

A new edition, ‘Heritage Artefacts of County Cork’ is now in the works and local heritage societies, community groups and individuals are invited to get involved by sending information, stories and photos of interest on local heritage artefacts to corkheritage@corkcoco.ie by Friday 11 June.

In another unforeseen side effect of the pandemic lots of people have taken the plunge into open-water swimming over the past year.

With our extensive Cork coastline, we’ve more than our fair share of swim spots. It’s the responsibility of the local authority to identify official bathing areas each year to ensure they’re monitored for safety, water quality and level of use. Cork County Council are asking people who swim at beaches, lakes and rivers to help them with identifying suitability of existing designations and/or adding new bathing area designations. To propose your favourite swimming spot submit it to beaches@corkcoco.ie before 17 June.

It’s become very clear to me, during my term as Mayor, that the generosity of the people of Cork never falters.

I’d like to thank you all and Cork’s 96FM’s for the success of the Giving for Living Radiothon which raised a whopping €385,566 to support cancer services in Cork.

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