About Eco Safaris
Teachers and pupils have been going on Eco Safaris in their local area, and beyond, as part of the Eco Rangers schools programme. They’ve been exploring and observing the plants, animals and habitats along their way and recording their experience on the website. This makes it easy for you to find places of local natural interest and to get out and about and enjoying it too. Learn more about the different types of Eco Safaris below.
Woodland / Grassland
A woodland is an area of land where the main plants are trees. They can be deciduous (broadleaved) or conifers (needle-like leaves). They support a wide range of species of insects, mammals, fungi and birds, many of which we are all familiar with such as squirrels, badgers, bats and owls. You may come across more unusual species such as lizards, stoats and pine martens.
Grasslands support agriculture while also providing valuable trails for many nesting birds such as the meadow pipit. Birds such as these prefer to open spaces that grasslands provide.
Woodland / Grassland Examples
- Pine forest
- Wooded area
Being an island Ireland has a very long coastline where we find a number of habitats such as beaches and rock pools which are teeming with life. Rock pools are full of seawater during high tide, and then exist as separate pools at low tide. They are like natural aquariums and are a great way to examine a range of sea life when the tide goes out of course.
Dune systems usually appear behind a beach and are made of sand blown in from the beach. It is usually here that vegetation grows such as grasses and wild flowers but many animals, bird and insects also make it their home seeking shelter from the beach.
- Beach / shoreline
- Dune system
- Rock pool
Nature spots exist in urban settings too. They could be in your local park or even your school yard. There is nature all around us, we just need to take a moment to really see it.
Your school yard is a habitat for many flora and a variety of mini beasts, all waiting to be discovered. Well now is your chance to get out and explore how nature and the environment can exist side by side in harmony.
- Derelict site
- School grounds
Ireland has many waterways, both natural and man-made such as rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs. Some of the longest rivers in Ireland include the River Shannon, the River Barrow, the River Suir and the River Blackwater. While the largest lakes include Lough Corrib, Lough Derg and Lough Ree.
Across the country, but particularly in the west and north, there are many small lakes that were formed after the last ice age in the holes that were carved out by glaciers. Our waterways are full of plant and animal life but these are under threat from pollution. We must try and protect them to keep the huge variety of species that can be found in them.
Peatlands make up about 15% of land in Ireland. Raised and blanket bogs are just two of the types of peatland. Raised bogs are dome shaped peatlands that have grown out of lake basins and are found in the central lowlands. Blanket bogs follow the shape of the land underneath and form a ‘blanket’ over soil or rock and can be found on many of Ireland’s mountains and western lowlands.
Bogs are fed by rain water and contain waterlogged soils. This soil is acidic and low in nutrients and so plants have to be specially adapted to life on a bog. They are also home to many unusual plants some of which are carnivorous and eat insects to grow and survive.
Search for Eco Safaris
With so many Eco Safaris to discover why not search for a Eco Safari today?