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17 Aug 2022

Boyle man wins Teagasc ‘Equine Farming and Biodiversity’ Photo Competition

Boyle man wins Teagasc  ‘Equine Farming and Biodiversity’ Photo Competition

The winning image

Teagasc announced the winners of the ‘Equine Farming and Biodiversity’ photo competition. The overall winner is Max Solan Clinton from Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Max’s winning image was selected from over 150 diverse images featuring examples of biodiversity in harmony with equines on farms around the country, which were recently submitted to the Equine Farming and Biodiversity photo competition. Max will receive vouchers valued at €250.

In congratulating Max on his achievement, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist Catherine Keena said: “The photo shows a vegetated margin with flowering grasses and broadleaved plants, which support a wide range of wildlife. Seed eating birds such as goldfinch and linnet feed on small grass seeds, while butterflies such as Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood lay their eggs and their larvae feed on tall grasses.”

Teagasc Equine Specialists Wendy Conlon and Seán Keane added their congratulations saying “Max’s photo resonated with the judges for its simplicity yet captivation of the landscape and most particularly demonstrating the biodiversity value of field margins”.

Second place is Kristine O’ Neill from Ardrahan, Co. Galway. Catherine Keena highlights the network of hedges depicted in the photo. These linear habitats provide corridors of movement for birds, bats and small mammals through this farmed landscape. The two types of hedges are visible: Escaped hedge / treeline and the Topped hedge containing occasional trees.

Wendy Conlon compliments Kristine on framing her grazing Irish Draught mare and foals, while showcasing the aesthetics of the surrounding landscape. Kristine is delighted to receive vouchers valued at €150.

n third place is Brian Morgan from Ennistymon, Co. Clare, who will receive vouchers valued at €100. Seán Keane praises Brian’s representation of the Connemara Pony mares and foals grazing well-sheltered pasture suited to the breed. Catherine Keena appreciates the beautiful escaped hedge or treeline, with huge biodiversity value in its canopy for nesting and roosting birds, bats, bees and butterflies. Scattered rush cover shown in the photo is beneficial as the tussocks provide shelter and benefit wildlife. Such pastures provide ideal habitat for breeding waders, where damp soils allow birds with long beaks to probe for invertebrates.  

It was gratifying for the judges to experience the range of excellent images from participants. The winning ‘Equine Farming and Biodiversity’ photos can now be viewed at www.teagasc.ie/equinecomp 

Teagasc sincerely thanks all participants for taking the time to enter and wishes everyone continued enjoyment of their surroundings, while encouraging all to strive to both sustain and improve biodiversity on their farms.

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