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Clonaslee ICW

Past Projects On Our Locality

The Castlecuffe Times

26 September 2012 €1.50

Walkers and Waddlers go Wild in the Wonderful Wetlands

Yesterday morning, pupils from 5 and 6 class in Castlecuffe N.S. accepted an invitation from the Environment section in Laois County Council to view the new Integrated Constructed Wetland on the Tullamore road at Clonaslee. I decided to go along to find out what this ICW idea is really all about!

It was a wet morning when all 23 students and 3 teachers piled into cars and headed into Clonaslee. When they got there they met up with Scoil Bhr
íde who were also there on a tour. When the time came all the Castlecuffe group squashed into the little control room and Pauraic Joyce, Engineer, gave a presentation about the ICW. Aila Carty, expert on ICW’s and daughter of the man who invented the phrase, then brought the group around to the ponds, explained about them and answered questions. Derval O’Rourke from the Water Services Section in Laois County Council then spoke to the group and gave a windmill pencil for each child and some handouts for the group. Overall the trip was very educational and lots of fun for all, in spite of the weather!

Checking out the water quality

I spoke to some of the pupils from Castlecuffe School about their experience. Danny Nolan reported being very interested in the Control Room and said he would like to make a model of it when he went back to school.

William Cummings was disappointed that he did not see any newts or frogs but was happy to have had a chance to see the ducks, mayflies and stoneflies. "We learned lots of new things", he remarked. Mary-Ellen Tynan was impressed by the nature aspect of the trip. "It was cool", confirmed Leah Rosney. At the end of the day, Ryan Nolan thanked Aila, Pauraic and Derval for their time, knowledge and of course the use of their umbrellas.

One group who were delighted with the weather on the day was the family of ducks who have happily nested on the final pond. The children took turns in their groups to look at the little family as they swam peacefully across the pond while the other groups took samples from the water using a fishing net to see if the wetland ponds were in fact doing their job. Sure enough they found stoneflies, which indicated that the quality of the water is good. The children all agreed that this system is much nicer to look at than the previous one and as well as being able to cope with 700 more people it should be much better for the environment.

It is expected that the site will be officially opened in February by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan. Watch this space!

Report by 5th and 6th Class pupils.

Reading 'The Integrated Constructed Wetland' Big Book to infants

Our SESE groups each wrote a big book about the ICW for the younger classes and we read them to them in groups. We enjoyed it! Can you spot William's model newt on the table with them!

We even did some work at home. We all wrote something about the ICW using photographs as a stimulus. Danny and John made models of the control room, Rachel made a model of the flow meter, William made a model newt, Robert demonstrated with his tractor and plough how the land was prepared and Chloe made a model of the ponds.

Mr Pauric Joyce, the County Council engineer involved in the ICW came to talk to our class about his job and what it involves. He said he started engineering when he was 12! Thank you to Pauric, Dervla and Aila for all the information they gave us.

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