Buncrana plants seeds for the
THE colourful plantings
that line approach roads to the town of Buncrana or
burst from large containers throughout the town not
only brighten the townscape but play an
George McDermott, the Buncrana town gardener,
already had an interest in bees, butterflies and
moths when the town was chosen for a pilot project
in the new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan last year.
The national initiative encourages everyone, from
local authorities to schools, businesses and
community groups to individuals, to nurture
Ireland’s bee population with pollen-rich plantings.
Their work paid off as last year Buncrana Tidy Towns
won the regional Tidy Towns Local Authority
Pollinator Award for the North West and West Region
in the large town category.
George has been involved in this work since the days
of the Buncrana Town Council, when he developed a
butterfly garden at Swan Park. One of the most
striking examples of this work is the meadow George
and the county council are developing near the play
park at the Buncrana shorefront.
George McDermott, Buncrana town
gardener, at Amazing Grace Park.
“It’s all about
encouraging wildlife,” the town gardener said. To measure the
meadow’s success, George assesses the local bee
population by walking a two-kilometre transect
regularly and counting the bee species he observes
There is a smaller meadow near the Buncrana tourist
office, at the Amazing Grace Park. It is hard to
believe this was wasteland not so long ago. A
manmade pond is nestled among paths and there are
pollinator-friendly plants, such as Russian sage,
verbena and stalks of purple loosestrife.
“We’re trying to create avenues coming into the
town, corridors,” George said “I like to think of
containers as something that come and go – they’re
very seasonal. But you like to think the hedges or
the trees after my day will maybe still be there.
Hopefully we’ll leave something like that behind.”