The Society of Mills and Millers of Ireland was launched in 2001 to encourage and assist in the preservation and appreciation of mills as part of our industrial, architectural and landscape heritage. There are hundreds of mills and mill sites spread across the country and while many are beautifully refurbished or put to good use, there are also many others which could be restored or renovated while preserving their traditional context. The society aims to promote interest and awareness in this aspect of Ireland’s industrial heritage by building up knowledge and expertise in areas such as law, architecture, renewable energy and manufacturing and making information available through publications, lectures and events.
Ballindud Mill Photo Credit: Ballindud Mill and Cottage
This year’s Spring event is a one day event taking place on the 18th April in the lovely countryside of County Waterford. It’s going to be a very active day with visits to several local mills, Ballindud Mill, Jim Butler’s Mill, Tom Butler’s Gorteens Mill, Strangsmills and a talk by historian John Walsh on local East Waterford Mills. . Take a look at the timetable to see the list of interesting events that have been organised.
Fee for the day including refreshments and lunch: €25 per person.
(A) Download a booking form here and return to: Hon. Treasurer Mr. John Delaney, Ballingard Road, Roscommon, County Roscommon (Cheques payable to MMOI)
Minister for Energy, Alex White T.D., today announced a boost in the level of grants available to householders who want to undertake energy efficiency improvements. The cash value of every grant available to householders under the Better Energy Homes Scheme has been increased by between 25-50%. In addition, a bonus payment has been introduced which will see householders receive bonus payments if they complete three or more energy efficiency improvements.
The new grant levels are effective immediately and will apply to everyone who has applied for a grant that has not yet been paid. The previous minimum grant threshold of €400 has been abolished and a bonus payment of €300 for householders who undertake three efficiency measures has been introduced, with an additional bonus payment of €100 available to householders who undertake four measures. The bonus payments are available to new applicants and to householders who have already availed of the scheme who wish to undertake further upgrades.
The changes in grant levels, effective from today
The Better Energy Homes Scheme provides grants to homeowners to undertake energy efficiency measures such as insulating walls or attics and installing new heating systems. Since the scheme was launched in 2009 more than 165,000 homes have undertaken energy efficiency upgrades with a total Government investment of €172m.
Under the revised scheme, a family in a semi-detached house could benefit from a grant payment of up to €4700 for external wall insulation, a boiler and heating control upgrade, and cavity and attic insulation. A couple in an apartment could receive €3400 towards internal wall insulation, a boiler and heating control upgrade and the installation of solar thermal heating.
Improve the Energy Efficiency of your home with Cavity Wall and Attic Insulation
The Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme (BEWH), administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, funds energy efficiency improvements in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, making the homes more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run. The Better Energy Warmer Homes services are provided by a panel of SEAI appointed non-profit community based organisations (CBO’s) and a panel of SEAI appointed private contractors. The Installers are assigned to a household depending on their geographic location. CBO’s and contractors deliver the BEWH to the highest quality assurance standards. Inspections are carried out on a sample of homes completed to ensure the standards are maintained.
The scheme is available to non-Local Authority owner occupied homes constructed before 2006. The owner of the property has also to be in receipt of one of the following:
Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
Job Seekers allowance for over six months and with children under 7 years of age
Family income support
The service involves the installation of standard energy efficiency measures appropriate to the eligible household subject to SEAI survey, budget allocation and available capacity. The service is provided at no cost to the household and the measures currently available under this scheme are:
Low energy light bulbs.
Cavity wall insulation.
Landlords can avail of grants from Better Energy Homes if they have tenants in, or at risk of, energy poverty.
The Better Energy Homes scheme provides assistance to homeowners to reduce energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the comfort levels within their home. It is a national scheme therefore all homeowners of dwelling built before 2006 may apply. Landlords and owners of multiple properties may also apply, however they must submit a separate application form for each property. Grants are available for eligible applicants for under taking energy efficient upgrades.
The theme for National Tree Week 2015 is ‘Do you love trees?’
The launch of National Tree Week being sponsored by ESB takes place in Castletown House in Co Kildare on 1st March where the Tree Council will be giving away over 2,000 trees and 15,000 during the week thanks to Coillte. National Tree Week is an annual week long fun festival about trees organised by The Tree Council of Ireland. In celebration of National Tree Week individuals, families, schools and local communities are encouraged to participate in and support events taking place around the country during the week.
By doing something as simple as planting a tree, everyone can play their part in making a difference to our efforts to live more sustainably, bringing about huge benefits, many of which will have long term impact in times of climate uncertainty.
Despite great advances in the past 100 years, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with only 11% of our land planted with trees compared to the European average of 40%. Ireland has agreed a target to increase our forest cover to 17% by 2035. This initiative will provide new jobs, build our forestry industry and help improve our environment.
On a global level, trees play a significant role in mitigating against climate change by soaking up carbon emissions and in the sustainable wood resource they provide. Trees also improve air quality, providing us with clean air to breathe, and reduce the effects of flash flooding and soil erosion. They give shade to make streets and buildings cooler in summer and improve the energy efficiency of buildings by providing shelter and reducing heat loss. Without trees, life on earth would be intolerable.
It’s easy to get involved as an individual or as a group. The Tree Council of Ireland invites you to organise one or more events for the week to celebrate trees. As well as tree planting ceremonies, the range of events can include forest and woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, woodturning displays, talks, tree hugging, tree climbing etc. – the choice is yours!
Ferns Tidy Towns Group planting a copse of trees
What can you do to celebrate National Tree Week?
Check out the National Tree Week events programme and take part in an event near you.
Celebrate National Tree Week in your school by planting a tree or in the classroom by drawing pictures or making leaf prints or bark rubbings of trees, read or write poems or stories about trees, learn how to measure the height and spread of a tree, produce a class drama about trees.
Encourage your local residents association, tidy towns group, youth club, sports club or other local organisation to get their members involved in a tree planting or tree maintenance project (eg. clean-up a local woodland) in your area.
Volunteer in a local community tree-planting event. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
Organise a walk or trail to showcase and tell the stores of any large, unusual or historic trees in your community.
Commemorate an event of significance in your community by planting a tree and organise a community celebration or get together to mark the occasion.
Celebrate the week in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your own garden.
Take some time to read a book about trees or find our more about their characteristics, their uses, folklore etc. Learn to identify trees in your neighbourhood.
Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local forest or park or take a nature walk and enjoy observing and being in the company of trees.
Those in the business community could sponsor a community tree project.
Woodland area of native trees at Scoil Naomh Maodhóg, Ferns
Even the smallest garden can accommodate a tree!
Just because your garden is small, don’t think that you can’t have trees. One of the advantages of planting trees is that there is a species to fit every location, regardless of size. Many people with small gardens only have space for one tree so choosing the right one is important. When planting in small enclosed spaces, it is advisable to plant trees that have a small crown spread. Eventual height is an important factor too. Even small ornamental trees may, over time, reach a height of 6-7m or more. If you only have room for one tree ideally look for one with more than one feature or season of interest such as coloured bark or fruit or autumn colour following on from flowers.
Some Native Tree Species to consider for Small Gardens.
Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) – Slow growing evergreen with shredding brown bark and dark green, leathery leaves. Clusters of pinkish white, pitcher-shaped flowers and red strawberry-like fruits are borne together in late autumn and winter. Height 5m.
Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) – Although inconspicuous for much of the year, this small tree is very showy in autumn and early winter when the leaves turn blazing scarlet and masses of rose-red capsules split open to reveal orange seeds. Height 4m.
Silver Birch (Betula pendula) – Distinctive silvery-white, peeling bark that becomes marked with black, rugged cracks as it gets older. In spring, yellow-brown male catkins appear and in late autumn the diamond-shaped, bright green foliage turns yellow before falling. Height 12m. Betula pendula ‘Youngii’ is a weeping form that develops a mushroom-headed habit with branches reaching to the ground.
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) – Choose the fastigiate form. Leaves turn deep, fiery red and yellow in autumn. Sprays of white flowers cover the tree in late spring, followed by bunches of red berries in autumn. Height 8m.
Yew (Taxas baccata) – Choose the columnar or fastigiate form. Slow growing coniferous tree forming a dense, compact column. Height 3m.
Recycling saves trees!
Trees are essential to our world and offer a wide range of benefits to our environment so for the week that’s in it we should also remember that recycling saves trees! Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.
Wexford County Council National Tree Week Primary School Competition:
Wexford County Council have organised a competition for all primary schools in Co. Wexford to celebrate National Tree Week 2015 . The winning entry will win €200 worth of trees for their school and €100 for their own garden.
All you have to do is write a description of your favorite tree or planted area of trees in your garden, school or local area. Entries must not exceed 1 A4 page and it can include drawings or a photo of the tree if you like. Don’t forget to write on the back your name, school and contact details.
Send your entry to Cliona Connolly, Environment Section, County Hall, Carricklawn, Wexford.
Closing date for receipt of all entries is Friday 13th March 2015.
What will you do to celebrate National Tree Week? Maybe you will attend one of the many events organised by the Tree Council of Ireland , help your local community group to plant some trees, plant a tree in your own garden or just go for a walk in the local woodland and admire the beauty of the many species of trees around you. Whatever you decide trees are essential and are a huge benefit to our environment.
Fossil fuels are derivatives of plant and animal fossils that are million of years old. These are primarily formed from the remains of the decayed plants and animals. The three fuel sources coal, natural gas and oil help to meet the energy and electricity demands of today’s world. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources. Their supply is limited so they will eventually run out. Fossil fuels do not renew themselves, while fuels such as wood can be renewed endlessly.
Pollution is a major disadvantage that is formed due to fossil fuels as they release carbon dioxide when they burn, which adds to the greenhouse effect and increases global warming. Coal and oil release sulphor dioxide gas when they burn, which causes breathing problems for living creatures and contributes to acid rain.
You Choose – Wood Fuel or Fossil Fuel
Using wood fuel instead of peat, coal and gas to heat our homes is a sustainable choice, and makes a positive contribution to the environment. Wood is ‘CO2 neutral’, the amount of CO2 wood releases during burning is equal to that which is absorbed during growth. In contrast, burning fossil fuels releases the global warming gas carbon dioxide, as well as other damaging pollutants. Wood fuel also takes just 5-20 years to grow, whereas peat and coal were formed over hundreds of thousands of years.
WFQA – Wood Fuel Quality Assurance:
The Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme provides a simple but reliable way for consumers to purchase quality wood fuels that are accurately described, meet the supplier’s stated product specifications, and are produced in compliance with EUTR (EU Timber Regulation) ensuring sustainably produced woodfuels.
Modern, highly efficient stoves and boilers make wood fuel a practical and sustainable option for today’s lifestyle!
Small-scale hydro is one of the most long term cost-effective and reliable energy technologies to be considered for providing clean electricity generation. Hydropower is the nation’s most available, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy source requiring only the power of moving water from rivers and streams.
Weir on the river Camowen, Omagh
Small scale hydropower systems capture the energy in flowing water and converts it to usable energy. Although the potential for small hydro-electric systems depends on the availablity of suitable water flow, where the resource exists it can provide cheap clean reliable electricity. A well designed small hydropower system can blend with its surroundings and have minimal negative environmental impacts.
Benefits of small scale hydropower:
A high conversion efficiency (70 – 90%), by far the best of all energy technologies.
A high capacity factor (typically >50%), compared with <10% for solar and around 30% for wind.
A high level of predictability, varying with annual rainfall patterns.
Slow rate of change; the output power varies only gradually from day to day (not from minute to minute).
A good correlation with demand i.e. output is maximum in Winter.
Hydro produces a continuous supply of electrical energy in comparison to other small-scale renewable technologies. 24 hour generation i.e. works at night.
It is a long-lasting and robust technology; systems can readily be engineered to last for 50 years or more.
Well-designed schemes are also environmentally benign. Small hydro is in most cases “run-of-river”; in other words any impoundment is quite small, often an existing weir, and little or no water stored.
Small hydro schemes have minimum visual impact on their surrounding environment
A climate-friendly energy source with no direct CO 2 emissions from hydro projects.
Therefore run-of-river installations do not have the same kinds of adverse effect on the local environment as large-scale hydro, which involves a substantial dam and a more fundamental alteration to the downstream flow pattern.
Why micro and small scale hydro?
Hydropower is a flexible technology, proven, improved and refined over many years, yet its site-specific features make it highly innovatory in application, which makes use of a wide range of available resources – micro, small or large, storage or run-of-river, and including tidal, canals and even water treatment works. It is still one of the most inexpensive ways to generate power, playing an important role in our electricity system stability.
If you are the owner of an old mill site or a potential hydro site, would like to refurbish or replace a water wheel or a community group interested in developing a hydro project for community use we can help. Just contact us here and we will answer all queries and help you every step of the way with your proposed project.
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