Two East Cork Environmental Awareness Groups have been awarded grants totalling €15,500 from the East Cork Municipality. Clean Coasts Ballynamona is to receive the biggest allocation, €8,500 with €7,000 awarded to the East Cork Biodiversity Network.
The windfall came after Senior Executive Clerk, Joe McCarthy, informed the December Sitting of the Borough that he had a total of €29,300 in unclaimed grants that were allocated through a number of Authority schemes. The remaining €13,000 is to be put towards a fund for the future redevelopment of Towns Park and the Baby Walk.
Last year the Local Authority released concept drawings for the 14 acre site which would create a visual connection with the Distillery. The Plan also sees the development of a Woodland Management Plan with better access to the Dungourney River. The ambitious ideas include Lawn terraces with low maintenance wildflower meadows and seating areas, along with the creation of a new Bridge to facilitate looped walks between existing woodland and parkland.
Mr McCarthy told the Sitting that the applicants were not in a position to avail of the monies as they were unsuccessful in acquiring the outstanding finance required for their projects. Under the Amenity Grant System, organisations who have been awarded financial assistance from the Authority have a period of eighteen months to draw down the allocated funds. He said in order to recognise the “herculean” work by Ballynamona Clean Coasts in clearing many East Cork beaches he was recommending that Council fund the group’s nature project, which aims to showcase the diverse array of wildlife that call Ballycotton Bay their home.
Of the East Cork Biodiversity Networking Programme Mr McCarthy said he was “strongly” recommending that Council provide funding for the creation of a forum and collaborative space to tackle litter and improve biodiversity by making areas more welcome for varied species.