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Waterford welcomes new biodiversity garden and scupture

Waterford is now home to a brand new biodiversity garden and climate change awareness sculpture.

The two were unveiled yesterday by Mayor of Waterford City and County Council Councillor John O'Leary and are situated outside Theatre Royal.

The aim is to raise awareness about climate change and the importance of biodiversity.

The garden was designed by the local authorities' horticulturist Eoin Dullea.

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At the event, many different bee species could be seen enjoying the colourful display.

The sculpture is of a woman and was created by Elaine McDonough of Newgrange Willow Designs. 

The sculpture is named Rosalind after the character in Shakespeare's play "As You Like It," which was also the first show in Theatre Royal.

Rosalind is made of recycled wire and willow.

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"It was wire that a farmer had left in his shed and rather than throwing it away we used it," Elaine said.

She uses willow because of its sustainable nature - something that is at the forefront of all of her projects.

Elaine recently made a 2o foot tower out of willow and it was displayed at Electric Picnic.

Willow is the second best tree for attracting wildlife, following the oak tree.

Elaine is now going to begin doing workshops on the use of willow to create things.

She will deliver workshops to the Men's Shed on how to make bird feeders, which they can then hang in their own garden or the biodiversity garden.

She will also be teaching children how to make bees and butterflies out of willow.

Mary Boland, Theatre Royal Director, told WLR about the project, which has been in the works for months.

It was funded by the ESB Brighter Future Arts Fund.

Mary says she is delighted with how everything worked out and that the theatre has been getting many questions about the garden - as is the point.

"The footfall that we see in and around this building is enormous, therefore isn't it right that we have a responsibility to talk about climate action?" Mary said.

Mary, the Mayor, Elaine, and Eoin welcome everyone to the garden and say that it is not theirs nor the theatres, but it is everyone's garden and so we are all invited to enjoy it.

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