Galway Canal Permaculture & Biodiversity Trail

The Galway Biodiversity & Permaculture Trail on the Eglington Canal was created by Third Space Galway and the local community in partnership with Galway City Tidy Towns in 2017, as part of an ecoarts and community environmental project to inform people, raise awareness and appreciation of Biodiversity Loss, Sustainable Food Production and Climate Change.

The goal of the project is to use regenerative agri/horticulture and permaculture principles and methods to transform underused urban spaces into biodiversity-rich and edible ecosystems.

This Trail is listed as part of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

As the Trails aim is fundamentally about increasing and protecting local biodiversity and is based on ecosystems principles design…by sourcing Irish native seeds and plants from the Irish Seed Savers Assiciation and local organic suppliers wherever possible, we believe in health for people, health for the planet.. !!


Is iad Third Space Galway agus an pobal áitiúil i gcomhpháirtíocht le Coiste Bailte Slachtmhara na Gaillimhe a chruthaigh Conair Bhuantalmhaíochta na Gaillimhe.

Is é an cuspóir atá leis an tionscadal seo leas a bhaint as prionsabail na hathghiniúna agus na buantalmhaíochta le spásanna uirbeacha atá folamh nó gan úsáid a athbheochan ina n-éiceachórais a bhfuil ard-bhithéagsúlacht ag baint leo agus a dtáirgtear bia iontu.

1 Pollinator’s Haven ( Ravens Terrace )
If you grow it, they will come! This sheltered bed offers a variety of hardy perennials and shrubs to support the pollinator population.

Tearmann na bPailneoirí
Má fhásann tú é, tiocfaidh siad! Tá cuid mhór ilbhliantóga crua agus toir chrua le fáil sa gceapach fhoscúil seo, mar aon le bliantóga séasúracha; cothaíonn siad seo ar fad na pailneoirí.

2 Herb Bed (Dominic St )
This bed contains a variety of plants supporting both human and wildlife needs, consisting of herbs for culinary, medicinal and biodiversity purposes.

Ceapach Luibheanna
Áirítear ar an gceapach seo plandaí ilchineálacha a chothaíonn an bheatha dhaonna agus beatha eile; tá luibheanna ann a úsáidtear le haghaidh cócaireachta, i gcógais leighis mar aon le luibheanna a chuireann leis an mbithéagsúlacht.

3 Mini Forest Garden ( New Rd ) Demonstration Fruit Tree Guild
Forest gardens replicate the natural growing patterns within a woodland system. Each plant plays many roles in this ecosystem, supporting the needs of wildlife, humans, and the soil.

Mionghairdín Foraoise – Crainn Torthaí
Déantar gairdíní foraoise a shaothrú de réir na bpatrún fáis a bhíonn i gcoill nádúrtha. Is iomaí sin ról a chomhlíonann na plandaí go léir agus an t-éiceachóras cothaitheach á chruthú i bpáirt lena chéile acu.

4 Bee-friendly Bridge ( Mill St. ) TBC 
This is a native biodiversity-rich habitat consisting of native trees, beneficial to many species, offering food and shelter to various species throughout the seasons.

Droichead na mBeach
Is gnáthóg dhúchasach í seo a bhfuil ard-bhithéagsúlacht ag baint léi – tá crainn dhúchasacha inti a chothaíonn speicis éagsúla le bia agus foscadh ó cheann ceann na bliana.

5 Future Fuel – Henry Street Garden Bed 
This garden contains plants used for fuel, fibre, building materials and the creation of natural dyes. These plants and trees also help purify the air along this busy road.

Ceapach Shráid Anraí
Sa ngairdín seo gheofar plandaí a úsáidtear mar bhreosla, snáithín agus ábhar foirgníochta mar aon le plandaí a úsáidtear chun ruaimeanna nádúrtha a chruthú. Agus an cheapach seo ag síneadh le bóthar cruógach, cuidíonn na plandaí agus na crainn seo freisin leis an aer a ghlanadh.

6 Perennial/No-Dig Vegetable Bed ( Presentation Rd.)
No-dig gardening preserves the rich underground ecosystem by leaving it undisturbed, maintaining critical bacteria, fungi and soil structure.

Ceapach Glasraí/gan Rómhar – an Chré Bheo
Nuair is garraíodóireacht gan rómhar a bhíonn á húsáid, coinnítear slán an t-éiceachóras méith ithreach atá faoi dhromchla na talún; déantar é sin mar go bhfágtar an t-éiceachóras sin gan athrú – coinnítear slán, dá réir, na baictéir, na fungais agus an comhdhéanamh ithreach atá ann.

Local Community
Galway Tidy Towns
Galway City Council

Galway EU Green Leaf
Galway County Council
Conservation Volunteers Galway
Gaillimhe le Gaeilge
Hannah Mole – EarthCare
Biodiversity Centre and All Ireland Pollinator Plan                                                 Westend Business Association


We engaged with the assistance of GRETB funding a professional Permaculture practitioner Hannah Mole, to assist and advise us in the development of this project.

We also researched other sources including the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and the Heritage Councils recommended guidelines.

We were delighted to have Derrick Hambleton, of An Taisce join us for Heritage week talks and Celia Graebner, gardener and biodiversity advisor on the All Ireland Pollinator Plan as well as local ecologist Joe Quilty on Culture Night 2017.

We have engaged in ongoing consultation with Conservation Volunteers Galway for advice and practical support and we’re also liasing with Jeanne Sampier, Green Sod Education Officer, as part of a canal biodiversity group that we formed with Phil James, Galway Waterways CVG etc…

( The Galway Biodiversity and Waterways group is open to anyone with concerns for canal biodiversity to join, as we wished to create a mapping of Pollinator friendly habitats in the city.. with an aim for Galway to have linked up biodiversity corridors, and that could at some stage also support for example an urban beekeeping Projects, as well as for other wildlife supports   )


We’ve also been in discussion with Dr Dara Stanley, Ryan Institute, NUIG to link in with biodiversity actions in the university and in initiating an ecocide free Galway campaign and also had correspondence with Dr Catriona Carlin, ecologist and Coordinator with NUIG NEAR Project

Planting Design Info

All plans are based on perennial plantings for low maintenance and low cost and have multiple functions such as protecting soil, food, fibre, craft materials, pollinator and wildlife support, soil building and nutrition, plant guild support, etc.

Plant selection supports each of the following themes as well as being visually pleasing throughout the seasons.


Herb spiral next to An Tobar Cafe –

Perennial and self-seeding kitchen and medicinal herbs

Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
Fennel (herb), Poppy, Borage, 
Oregano/marjoram, Mallow, Bergamot,
Mint, Lemon Balm, Calendula, 
Chives, Parsley, Echinacea,
Coriander, Bay, Lovage, Ladies Mantle, Evening Primrose,
Winter savoury, Lavender, nasturtium 

Bridge Road : fruit and perennial veg guild

Forest garden demo plot
(Based on apple tree guild and forest garden template)
Apple M26 rootstock – self pollinating
Wild garlic or walking onions

Chives/garlic chives
Globe artichoke
Evergreen comfrey
Sea kale or another perennial kale
Lemon balm
Alpine strawberries
Ground nut/yam/oca/mashua
Nitrogen fixers
Tree lupin
White and red clover (seed)

Ravens Terrace area: Pollinator support demo garden.
Ladies Mantle, Strawberry, Alpine, Rose, Lavender, Sweet William, 

Hazel variety for nut production ( removed)
Fruit Trees – Apple, Plum (removed)
Blackcurrants (removed)
Eleagnus umbellata (removed)
Verbascum species (Mullein) (removed)

Juniper (removed)
Ground cover
Birdsfoot trefoil (removed)
Wild garlic (removed)
Comfrey (removed)
Campsis Trumpet Honeysuckle (removed)


7 plant guild companion principles

Permaculture fundamentals

1. Food
2. Food for the soil
3. Diggers and miners
4. Climbers
5. Ground cover
6. Supporters –
7. Protector – Strong smelling – spices etc

Demonstration Apple Tree Guild
Consists of 7 parts of which the Centre is the fruit tree …

1. Fruit / Nut Tree
2. Suppressor – plants of bulbs short stems fleshy – suppress grass growth
chives leeks garlic ( daffodil )
Underground bulb acts as energy storage for when plant is dormant
3. Attractor – brings variety of insects helps pollinate and repel
Dill fennel coriander
Tree attracts birds too helps keep insects in check
4. Repellers – repel potential damaging insects
5. Mulches – naturally provide slash Leaf
Comfrey artichokes and rhubarb
Helps soil and nutrients
6. Accumulators add species increase nutrient for plants
Dig deep to bring up
Yarrow chicory and dandelion
7. Fixers – up amount nitrogen / most important after water
Clover vetch peas beans alfalfa

Henry Street beds Plants for Fuel, fibre and craft materials.

(7 beds north facing wall)
Canopy 1 of each of the following
Silver birch
Downy birch
Wild cherry
Basketry willow varieties
Tree Lupin
Eleagnus umbellata
New Zealand Flax
Stinging nettle
Ostrich fern
Wood vetch
Ivy (good variety for bees)
Comfrey evergreen variety Symphytum grandiflorum
White clover
Woodland bulbs such as bluebells

National All Ireland Pollinator Plan…

“it is important that pollinators have a balanced diet from a range of plant species. They require food (nectar and pollen) throughout their active foraging season which lasts from early spring until late autumn.
Maintaining pollination service requires providing a sufficient abundance and diversity of food plants across the landscape for our pollinators from early spring to late autumn.”
-Incorporate pollinator friendly plants into gardens
-Plant patches of urban areas with wild flowers.


Culture Night 2017 

 Culture Night Exhibition 2018

 Biodiversity Week with NEAR 2019





Third Space Galway’s Strategy Document 


Open Document Format

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Microsoft Word Forma