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Gaelcholáiste Chéitinn - Biodiversity & Creativity Sketchbook

Nature And Biodiversity In Your Locality
Some goals achieved from our 5 Year Plan
Discourage use of chemicals wherever possible
Conduct Habitat Survey at St Stephen's BG with a view to creating/managing biodiverse habitats

In this project the Art & Design Idirbhliain class of Gaelcholaiste Cheitinn, began an action research study on the wild plants that grow along the riverside path of the Suir Blueway.

Gaelcholáiste Chéitinn - Biodiversity & Creativity Sketchbook

History of the Site

Sketchbook cover

About the Project

Click on the image to view the full completed sketchbook.

Alongside the benefits that these plants contribute to the biodiversity of the area students also considered the inspiration that the natural environment provides for artists and designers.The study was run over 6 months and included three visits to the Blueway and an investigation of Tidy Towns campaigns. A little patch of green and No Mow.  

Their objectives were:

  • To photograph the wild plants that they saw in September
  • To identify the plants they photographed
  • Find the Irish and Latin names of the plants
  • Create line drawings of the plants that analysed the structure of the plant
  • Create colour studies of the plants
  • Design a lino print of the plant of their choice
  • Create a series of prints based on their lino cuts
  • Use recycled materials to create a 3D model of the plants they had studied
  • Collate the information digitally in sketchpad format


To facilitate record keeping the teachers at Gaelcholaiste Cheitinn produced a workbook, which could also be submitted for a QQI Level 4 Minor Design Award (Quality Qualifications Ireland).  Into which the students recorded their findings and worked on their sketches and designs. Students also undertook three field trips to the blueway during class time to photograph and draw the plants. These took place, in September, February and lastly in April to observe the plants at different stages of growth.

Project outcomes

The project has reached its final month and to date the students have each sketched, painted and produced a print of their chosen plant. It has increased their awareness of the habitat around their school and three of the students have gone on to join the Green Schools Committee. The natural benefit of creating artwork from their natural surroundings is finding a new respect and perspective for  the green verges along the River Suir and the delicate but diverse life that exists along the pathways.

Project conclusion

In the final part of the project students will collate the artwork, photographs and notes they have taken into a digital booklet that is intended to archive their time studying the plants of the Blueway and which can also be shared across social media platforms or simply used as lens with which to view our urban patches of green.

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