ACT Waterford - biodiversity
All the issues such as biodiversity, habitat loss, and sustainable agriculture, can be explored through the lens of water.

In order to give the project an immediate focus, water and river systems will be the central theme. 

Explorations will begin with local water and river systems but will  expand to include their catchment areas. These explorations will include coastal areas, estuaries, lakes, streams, springs, bogs and peatlands, reed beds, fens, salt marshes, flood plains, wet alluvial woodlands etc.

Increasing the planting of trees, and increasing renewable energy sources are some of the most well-known strategies to tackle climate change, yet in the popular imagination restoration of water and river systems is often overlooked. Restoring river systems and their habitats can drive change across the entire catchment area. River restoration contributes to biodiversity and can include things such as re-meandering, creating green natural river banks, removal of man-made obstructions to open up habitats for migratory fish, planting of trees which provide shade and reduce water temperatures, restoring upland wetlands to increase water storage and assist the prevention of flooding etc.

The community selected is Kilmacthomas and the creative appointed is Kieran McBride.

Kieran McBride

Kieran McBride

Kieran McBride is an interdisciplinary artist based in Waterford whose arts practice incorporates film making, set design, script writing, performance, and the visual arts.

His theatre training took place at the Samuel Beckett Centre in Trinity College, Dublin and he followed this with an MFA in Art in the Digital World at NCAD.   His recent theatre work includes an acclaimed set design for Heather by Thomas Eccleshare and performance in the award winning show Men at Play by Brian Burns.  He is currently developing a documentary theatre project with ex-Debenhams workers entitled An Injury to One is an Injury to All.  This aims to give voice to the struggle of the workers as well as the political and legal context of their fight for justice.   He exhibited work in the group show Cycling Through the Rages, curated by Kelly Ratchford, at the Olivier Carnet Gallery, Dublin which explored the issues of urban transport and the challenges faced by cyclists.

Kieran’s arts practice has organically gravitated towards the field of participatory and community based arts and he is committed to the production of work that is socially engaged. Prior to the pandemic he studied community development under Amel Yacef at the CDETB.  He has developed a series of voice and movement workshops for elderly women at the St. Andrews Resource Centre in Dublin and is currently a volunteer at Manor Chillout, a social space for LGBT+ youth run by Waterford Youth Services.

Project Updates

For the Love of Water 05 – 07 August

Friday 05 August
For the love of water 2
Celebrating the beauty, preciousness, and supreme importance of water.

For the Love of Water both celebrates the River Mahon and explores the impact that climate change and other factors are having on its biodiversity.


7-8pm | The Beat of the River, with John Barron
In this drumming workshop, you will be invited to play and explore percussion and rhythms. These sessions are always relaxed and fun and no experience is necessary. Drums are provided and the facilitator will guide, play and show different rhythms. The group will then devise our own rhythm inspired by the river Mahon.

8:30 – 9 pm | For the Love of Water opening ceremony
After the drumming workshop there will be a short ceremony to mark the opening of the For the Love of Water camp.


2-4pm | Nature Mandalas, with Edel Ní Nualláin
An Eco-Arts workshop Where you will have fun foraging for materials together in nature. We will collect assortments of leaves and flowers and use them to
make nature based art mandalas. These mandalas will become part of the decoration of the, ‘For the Love of Water’, climate camp. All ages and abilities are welcome.

6-7pm |Permaculture For Beginners, with Kieran McBride
During this short talk there will be a discussion on the 12 principles of permaculture in order to gain a better understanding of the key concepts that drive the movement and try to find ways to apply them into our own lives.


2-4pm | Water is Life Workshop, with Suzie Cahn
Participants will have the chance to get creative with permaculture educator and arts and nature facilitator Suzie Cahn ( At the start of the
workshop you will explore the life in and around the river Mahon. Following this exploration, you will return to the camp and will be facilitated to respond in various art forms to co-create a multi-media story of your experiences. Meeting at the Rainbow Hall climate camp before we start our exploratory journey.

Download the full festival programme HERE


Seaweed Foraging Workshop

03 July 2022
Seaweed marie power
The coast of Waterford has a rich diversity of seaweed and some of the most interesting rocky shores in the country. We will explore the shore at the Stage Cove in Bunmahon, where dilisk and other seaweeds have been foraged by local families for generations.

Close to the mouth of the Mahon river, which runs it’s short course from the Comeragh Mountains, through Mahonbridge and Kilmacthomas, it must have linked coastal and inland communities in the past. The goodness of the sea and coast, including seaweeds with their rich complement of iodine and other nutrients, curative properties and high soil enrichment value, was traded in this county centuries ago.

On our forage, we will re- connect with this part of our past, as we forage for edible seaweeds, identifying and sampling the most tasty varieties, learning how to use them in everyday cookery, with Marie Power, The Sea Gardener and Copper Coast native. Hear how seaweeds were used to snack on, to set puddings, to cure coughs, to moisturise and revitalise skin and much more.

After foraging on the rocks, we will picnic on some delicious, innovative and locally- made snacks- all with a little seaweed if course!

Marie Power – Seaweed forage and picnic

Sunday July 3rd, 2 pm, Stage Cove, Bunmahon

This is a FREE event but please email to register your interest.

Crough Woods!

02 June 2022
Crough Woods
Yesterday, Kieran McBride spent the day reconnecting to the river Mahon by traveling close to its source at the Mahon Falls, then following the course of the river through Crough Woods.

Kieran continued on to Kilmacthomas and finished my cycle trip at the mouth of the river in Bunmahon.  He would like to spend more days like this in the coming weeks immersing myself in the Mahon river valley.  He wants to see, hear, smell, and taste the river and to become more familiar with all the living beings that are part of its ecosystem.  He will also start to collect plants and flower materials that will form some of the materials which will be used for the mask making workshops.

Slogans on Slates!

30 May 2022
Slogans on Slates
Slogans on Slates: a workshop about the importance of biodiversity in all ecosystems including human centred ecosystems

Slogans on Slates is a fun workshop hosted by Kieran McBride linking the Kilmacthomas strand of the ACT Waterford project to the LGBTQ+ community in rural Waterford.  It is taking place as part of the rural Pride celebrations happening at the Coach House on June 6th.  Kieran will give a short talk about the importance of biodiversity in all ecosystems, including human centred ecosystems, and also discuss the River Mahon and how climate change is effecting its biodiversity.   Participants at the workshop will be given pieces of slate and markers and be asked to respond to some of the themes discussed by writing slogans on their pieces of slate.  No artistic ability is required for this workshop. Participants can express themselves through text or drawings or use the materials in any way they are most comfortable.   Participants can have their portraits taken with their pieces of slate and they can either take their piece of art home with them or donate them to the For the Love of Water Festival.   The workshop is open to everyone including those who do not identify as LGBTQ+ and is free.

Where:  The Coach House, Kilmacthomas

When:  June 6 at 2 pm

Guided Walk of the Anne Valley with Paddy Dwan *Invitation Only*

19 May 2022
ACT Biodiversity
Well known naturalist, author and photographer Paddy Dwan, will be leading a nature walk along the much loved Anna Valley wetlands on Thursday 19th May.

As part of the Biodiversity Week calendar, ACT Waterford have teamed up with Calmast to host well known naturalist, author and photographer Paddy Dwan. Paddy will lead a nature walk along the much loved Anna Valley wetlands on Thursday 19 May. He will be guiding a group of young people from Kilmacthomas Primary school and explaining the value of wetlands and show how to be a wildlife detective along the way- who knows what we may find.

*Invitation Only*

For a full programme of events for Bealtaine Living Earth Festival, click HERE