Learning opportunities autumn/winter 2022

There are a number of free training and learning opportunities open to community groups through the Community Wetlands Forum and the Connecting Communities with Peatlands project this autumn and winter. Build your knowledge and skillset with our bespoke trainings to better further your community’s engagement with bogs and to further your project ideas.

Upcoming courses:

  • Interpretation and conservation planning

This is a blended-learning course with two days in-person and two online two-hour sessions with an additional one-to-one call with trainer, Deborah Benham. The course will cover the following:

– What is interpretation?

– Engaging with different audiences

– Interpretative framework for designing engaging walks, talks, activities and materials.

– Supporting conservation & stewardship behaviour through interpretive activities

– Design & deliver a simple interpretative walk or talk in a small group

– Gather initial ideas for an interpretive plan for your site

– Half day of local site visits

This detailed programme will begin with a two full day in-person session on 11 & 12 November. Please note that spaces are limited and will be assigned on a first come first served basis. Please contact [email protected] to register your place by Friday 04 November.

  • Beginners Promoting your project using Facebook & Instagram

Beginners Facebook and Instagram trainings will be held on two separate days. These trainings aim to give the participants the skills, tools and knowledge to be able to set up a Facebook or an Instagram page and use it effectively in their organisation.

Beginners Facebook training will cover:

– Step by step to setting up a Facebook page
o Creating an account
o Profile vs. page – what’s the difference?
o Setting up a page – step by step
o Accessing a page using the Facebook app and computer/laptop
o Accessing and editing general settings
o Uploading photos/videos

– Understanding how to get your content seen and increase engagement

– Facebook page settings: a walk through the key settings and features including the Business Suite on computer and phone

-What type of content works on Facebook

Beginners Instagram training will cover:

– An introduction to Instagram and how it differs from other social networks

– Features: a walk through all the key Instagram features. The focus will be on feed posts (image and video) and stories.

– Hashtags: understanding the importance of using hashtags on Instagram and finding a list of 10 top hashtags for their organisation.

– Understanding Instagram’s newsfeed filter and how to ensure their content is discoverable in search and visible in your follower’s newsfeed.

– Case Studies – how other organisations are succeeding on Instagram

Beginners Facebook will take place online 1 November 2pm-4.30pm. Beginners Instagram will take place online 3 November 2pm-4.30pm. Please note that a good internet connection is required and participants must have their smartphones and computer/laptop with them for the each session. Email [email protected] by Thursday 20 October to register.

  • Relationship and conflict management

This is our second instalment of the Relationship and Conflict Management course for community groups delivered by Arc Mediation. The course runs over 4 half days spread out over four weeks. This programme is specifically tailored to community groups engaging with their local bog. This training will cover:

1) Understanding Interpersonal Conflict

2) Communications Skills to Avoid Conflict

3) Introduction to Conflict Resolution Skills

4) Overcoming Conflict by Finding Common Goals

What our past participants said…

The approach taken suited my learning style (learn by doing). The scenarios put me outside my comfort zone which greatly enhanced the learning for me.

Even in a voluntary capacity it is good to reflect on how we manage meetings especially as chairpersons in situations where conflict is involved. The importance of active listening to all sides of the story was emphasised and how to work towards resolution was well explored

Classes will begin on 15 November and will take place one day a week for four weeks. Classes will be held online via Zoom. A good internet connection is required.  Please note that spaces are limited and will be assigned on a first come first served basis. Please complete the Expression of Interest Form to state your preferred dates and times or email [email protected]

  • Succession planning and Volunteer Recruitment & Retention

This course aims to inform community groups on how to plan for the future of their group as well as how to encourage individuals in their community to volunteer their time to the group or projects.

The initial workshop will help community groups to assess their needs and inform future training on this topic that will be available in 2023.

This workshop will take place on 01 December at the Offaly History Centre, Tullamore. Further information will be made available shortly. To register your interest, please contact our Development Officer, Mícheál Callaghan, [email protected] or the Connecting Communities with Peatlands Coordinator, Aoife Kirk, [email protected] 

Mid-Project Report Connecting Communities with Peatlands

This document is an overview of the work completed to date of the Connecting Communities with Peatlands project.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the communities, individuals and stakeholders who have made this project the success that it is. Without your participation and feedback we would not be able to report such positive results.

We hope to continue to bring the best of training, learning and support to peatland communities  across the Midlands for the duration of the project.

The report is available to download. 

National Parks and Wildlife Service Protected Raised Bog Restoration Incentive Scheme (PRBRIS) now open for applications

The Protected Raised Bog Restoration Incentive Scheme (PRBRIS) is a once off area based compensation and land purchase scheme. The scheme is open to applications from eligible property right holders who wish to have their lands included as part of the restoration scheme or where access is required for restoration works within raised bog SACs/NHAs.

This scheme, which was successfully piloted under the LIFE Raised Bog Restoration Project LIFE14_NAT_IE_000032 (The Living Bog), is open to eligible freehold, fee simple and turbary right holders of bogs who agree to accommodate the restoration measures on raised bog Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) as part of the national programme.

Once eligibility is established the scheme can compensate freehold title holders, fee simple and turbary right holders whose lands are within or on the fringes of these selected areas.

Click on the More information button on the left for further information and applications. 

Connecting Communities with Mentors – a pilot mentoring programme for peatland communities

There are six places available on our pilot mentoring programme for community groups in the Just Transition region.  Connecting Communities with Peatlands encourages peer-peer learning and is examining ways to formalise it through a mentoring programme.

Community groups will be matched with an experienced mentor who will advise and support the group to achieve a goal or implement a project idea.

To apply, you need to:

  • complete the application form in full
  • be based in one of the following county areas (Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Roscommon, East Galway, North Tipperary)
  • have an idea or a goal that you are working towards or want to achieve in the coming months
  • be committed to the mentoring processes

Email [email protected] for an application form.