Innovative free training programme to combine outdoor classrooms, online learning and virtual reality experiences to help people help nature help people.
People in West Limerick are being urged to sign up to take part in a new free 12-week biodiversity Wild Work training programme which will be rolled out across five locations in the region as part of a pilot project which also includes 15 other locations in South Cork, West Cork and Cavan.
The aim of the Wild Work programme is to help people help nature help people. Designed by expert ecologists, the training programme integrates the use of innovative virtual and augmented technologies with practical outdoor classroom and online learning modules to help trainees to focus on how best to support local biodiversity and experience mental and physical health benefits as a result of taking part in positive environmental actions.
The Wild Work training programme will begin in April 2022 and is open to individuals, community and voluntary groups, farmers, teachers, pupils and parents, the business community and managers of public amenities and owners of public land. Training will be delivered in Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Broadford, Kilcornan and Glin and will comprise six core biodiversity training modules which will explore the Irish landscape and its natural networks, along with Wild Work in Action training in creating ecological/ pollinator corridors and biodiversity management of public lands, all of which will be delivered by biodiversity experts. The training will be enhanced by the development of an online Wild Work Toolkit containing an exciting range of e-learning activities to support the learning, added to by the participants themselves as they experience the training in their own place.
The Wild Work programme is being coordinated by three Local Development Companies - West Limerick Resources, Cavan County Local Development and SECAD Partnership in Cork, who first developed and launched Wild Work in 2017.
It is hoped that, over time, the training programme will be rolled out nationwide and will inspire other countries to create similar programmes for the benefit of both people and place.
CEO of West Limerick Resources Shay Riordan said that there has never been a better time for all members of the community to get involved in the Wild Work initiative.
“Our collective experience of the Covid-19 global pandemic, combined with an ever-increasing awareness of climate change and its impact locally, nationally and internationally, has brought the wellbeing of both people and planet into sharp focus.
“We are delighted to be able to partner with Cavan County Local Development and SECAD Partnership to make the Wild Work programme available to people here in West Limerick. In helping nature, we will help ourselves by cultivating a new love for learning about nature, spending time outdoors in the company of others surrounded by flora and fauna, all of which has an incredibly positive impact on our own physical and mental wellbeing.
“Each and every one of us has a role to play in protecting nature, a role that will pay an environmental, economic and wellbeing dividend for both individuals and communities. I urge people, community groups, businesses, farmers and managers of public lands to take part in what is an exceptional opportunity to help nature help people help nature.”
Registration for the free Wild Work Training Programme is open online at www.wildwork.ie. No previous experience or qualifications are required to take part.