Growing wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Meadow foxtail: Look out for meadow foxtail in flower. This early flowering grass has a tight cylindrical spike hosting many invertebrates, which in turn are prey for invertebrate eating birds.

Meadow foxtail is found in old unimproved grasslands. Seed mixtures for improved grassland will not include it and such fields are grazed or cut before grasses head out or go to seed which is important for efficient food production. This shows the ecological benefit of retaining grass margins around improved grass fields as well as leaving other grassy ‘waste’ areas left unsprayed in the countryside. Meadow foxtail nó fiteog léana is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Picture of the week

A spectacular shot of the sell-out Bealtaine Fire Festival at the Hill of Uisneach in Westmeath where the start of summer was welcomed on

Saturday, 11 May. Manchán Magan lit the Great Bealtaine Fire this year, setting the summer skies alight at the hilltop Royal site which has views of 20 counties. \ ’Uisneach/Skyfab’

Letter to the editor

Reading the article by Margaret Hawkins in the Irish Country Living edition of 11 May made me feel angry.

It’s the feeling I always get when I hear of people who are sick, or have a loved one sick, having to pay parking charges. If they don’t, they get clamped.

Why, when we as a nation have always been known for our care for others, do we stand by and allow this to happen?

Everyone feels low when they are ill or have a loved one ill.

Perhaps, they have sat for hours by a sickbed or watched a loved one pass away.

They should not have to worry about parking charges or having their car clamped.

I believe no one should have to pay in hospital car parks. They only stay as long as they have to. It’s not somewhere people go for a day out.

This should be an election issue.

Marian Dalton, Kilcloney, Borris,Co Carlow

Consumer tip

According to the CCPC (Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) switching your current account can save you money and give you access to new features.

There are two ways to switch – do it yourself or directly with your new provider. It is important to do your research on the types of current accounts available and note that some banks are online only.

Also ensure to compare the charges. Some banks charge higher fees per quarter for maintaining your account while others charge lower maintenance fees but higher day to day fees. If you use cash regularly, ATM fees will be a key consideration for you.

If you currently have an overdraft, you should factor this into your decision as not all banks offer overdrafts. If you already have one and are switching, make sure to discuss this with your new bank. You will need to make an application to them. If you’re unable to transfer it, you may end up having to clear your balance before you can switch.

•For more, see

Number of the week

Vehicles and machinery are the main cause of farm accidents in Ireland. Between 2013 and 2022, they accounted for approximately 50%

of all farm deaths

Quote of the week

The UK is a huge grain-growing region – they are almost self-sufficient if they needed to be. We are almost completely reliant on imported flour and are nowhere near self-sufficiency. My view is that it would be better to start building back our knowledge and infrastructure on milling

Online pick of the week

Sisters Eadaoin and Catherine.

In this week’s Meet the Maker, Grace Hanna chats to sisters Eadaoin and Catherine about their design led interior business ‘Pebble and Sash’

Read more

Meet the Makers: sister duo Eadaoin and Catherine

Editorial: WhatsApp group configurations