Planting of marram grass at Bettystown.

Planting of dune grass takes place at Bettystown beach

Clean Coats teamed up with Bettystown Tidy Towns for a community marram grass planting session on Saturday as part of the Clean Coasts Roadshow event series. This event was part 1 of a two-part marram grass planting workshop, with a second community day planned to continue the planting on Thursday, 16th March from 10am. As well as being a recognised feature of sand dunes, marram grass plays a vital role in dune habitats as it helps to reinforce the structural integrity of the dune. The fibrous roots of marram grass bind sand together allowing for more sand to build up and thus creating the dune systems we see at beaches.

The binding of the sand ultimately increases the biodiversity of the habitat as it encourages the establishment of other plants in the dune habitat which attracts various insects and animals. The Clean Coasts Roadshow are a series of free talks and workshops for coastal communities which take place all around the coast of Ireland between February and May each year. The Roadshow aims to bring together all those with an interest in protecting their local beaches, seas and marine life and environment. The roadshow events are a mix of talks and workshops covering topics such as biodiversity, dune systems, marine litter, wildlife, sustainable developments, work by local groups and organisations, and more.

Roadshows are an opportunity to discuss how community groups can build capacity with volunteers, attract new members and share the workload amongst the group, as well as look at various funding streams groups can avail of, including the Clean Coasts grant scheme for 2023.

Clean Coasts is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Since 2003, Clean Coasts has been working with communities to help protect and care for Ireland’s waterways, coastline, seas, ocean and marine life.