Stop, Look, Listen: Preserving Biodiversity in Ballyhoura


As part of the Horizon 2020 project SHARED GREEN DEAL, which has been running since February 2022, various social science experiments have been carried out in different streams. The Carinthia University of Applied Sciences is working scientifically and organisationally in the biodiversity stream.

As part of this social experiment, so-called Study Circles were set up in which adult participants explore cultural values related to biodiversity, the loss of biodiversity and possible solutions in rural and urban areas.

At the beginning of 2023, four local partners were selected to work together with SHARED GREEN DEAL on the conservation of biodiversity. The four partners were selected from a total of 84 applicants for this programme.

  • Posoški razvojni centre, Tolmin, Slovenia
  • Ballyhoura Development CLG, Kilfinane, Ireland
  • Environment and health department, City of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Municipality of Amaroussion, Athens, Greece

The Carinthia University of Applied Sciences was the point of contact for the local Irish partners. Ballyhoura Development CLG strives to build empowered inclusive communities that understand, value and protect the natural and built environment through a range of community-led and community-focused projects and programmes.  Rhiannon Laubach and John Scanlan from Ballyhoura Development CLG implemented the Study Circle in Ballyhoura Country. Over 10 months, the Study Circle participants met at regular intervals and explored the importance of biodiversity in everyday life, the different roles of biodiversity and ecosystem services within communities and the challenges they face, as well as their view of Green Deal targets in relation to biodiversity and how biodiversity can support social objectives. The Study Circle activities included circular walks in the surrounding area, exploring biodiversity, photography, pottery and storytelling. This experiment showed the participants how they can preserve biodiversity in this region by encouraging them to stop, look and listen and note what they see and hear, but also what they don't see.

The Study Circle concluded with a wonderful final event in April 2024. The event celebrated local biodiversity within the Ballyhoura Catchment area and included an exhibition of photos of local biodiversity from the Stop, Look, Listen Photography Competition. The guest speaker was Seán Ronayne from the Irish Wildlife Sounds project, an ornithologist and wildlife sound recordist. One of the highlights of the final event was the presentation of the short film "The Stop, Look, Listen: Preserving the biodiversity of Ballyhoura Country". This film was created with project participants to highlight the ongoing efforts to protect biodiversity in the Ballyhoura Catchment.

Link to the film:

Ballyhoura Development CLG: