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Second rare fern discovered in National Park

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Killarney National Park is still capable of revealing secrets - as two years after a new species to Europe was first discovered there - a second population of the Kerry Mousetail Fern has been discovered.

Kerry Mousetail fern (Stengrammitis myosuroides) was found in a very remote woodland in the uplands of the National Park, over 4km distant from the previously known location.

Six plants were found to be present on a vertical rockface above a stream, one of which was fully mature and producing spores. This discovery proves that this species is fully established in the Killarney National Park, and is not merely a transient colonist that will quickly disappear again.

The Kerry Mousetail Fern was first discovered in Killarney National Park in July 2019, as a new species to Europe. This species was previously found only in the Caribbean, in the tropical cloud forests of Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and is a member of a group of tropical ferns known as the Grammitid ferns, of which no members had been previously found in Europe, aside from in Macaronesia, a collection of four volcanic archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of the continents of Africa and Europe.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage believe that this species arrived in Ireland without human intervention, with the most likely explanation being that its tiny spores travelled across the Atlantic on the wind and happened to land in a place where conditions were suitable for it to grow.

“It is not clear how long this species has been present in Ireland and only 40 plants were found on two rocks in one location, making it an extremely vulnerable and threatened plant,” a spokesperson said this week.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), in its quest to add to the knowledge of the range of species and habitats under its remit, have over the last two years embarked on a suite of taxonomic and botanical surveys in Killarney National Park, with a particular focus on niche specialists. As part of the survey scheme NPWS engaged leading specialists in a number of fields, including independent botanical researcher Dr Rory Hodd.

It is not known when the rare plant first established itself in Killarney National Park, widely regarded as one of Ireland’s richest and more diverse National Parks.

The NPWS is looking into the suggestion that it has survived undetected in the area for at least a number of years, and may not be a recent arrival, having possibly been present for decades, centuries or even longer. Due to its very small size and tendency to grow in remote areas, it would be very easily overlooked by generations of botanists.

However, the fact that it has now been found in two disparate areas means that it is very likely that the Kerry Mousetail Fern occurs elsewhere in the National Park, or further afield, as many pockets of similar habitat exist where conditions are suitable for its growth. This discovery puts to rest any doubts that may have existed about whether this enigmatic Neotropical fern can be considered a full, established member of the Irish flora.

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“I’m not fit enough”

How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it? Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”. Break free from this limiting belief If you think you are not […]

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How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it?

Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”.

Break free from this limiting belief
If you think you are not fit enough then you never will be, and let’s face it, you’ll never know if you’re fit enough to do something unless you do it! You can achieve so much, much more if you have the right mindset, and that this is a mental hurdle to overcome, not a physical one.
Everyone must start somewhere, and that can be as simple as aiming to sit a little less and move a bit more.
More gentle exercises that don’t require too much skill such as walking, and housework can help start you off slowly and build up gradually. You will still be making progress, physically and mentally, and will enjoy it more. A common mistake is trying to achieve too much, too soon. If exercising feels too hard, you will be put off.

Visualise success
Visualisation is an athletic tool that has been used for decades. By closing your eyes and imagining what it would look and feel like to achieve a goal or to complete an exercise, we can prepare ourselves physically and psychologically for the task at hand.

Certified fitness instructors add to the cost of your workout, but they can also add a lot of value. An expert can design a program based on your goals, show you how to use equipment, and provide tips on nutrition.

Log your workouts by recording distances, weights, and other objective milestones in your fitness journey, you will be able to see progress on paper. That record can come in handy when you are feeling uninspired or lethargic

Don’t over-promise. Having goals, even lofty ones, is key to anything you want to achieve in life. Make sure the bar is reachable—even if it means aiming for just 15 minutes on a bike—so you are not overwhelmed. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way!

Research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.

For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.

Meaning when you believe something, it can and will happen. That is the power of strong mentality.
If you keep thinking you are “not fit enough” then you will believe it, but if you start to change your way of thinking and change your mindset to “get fit”, you have made a huge step in the right direction. Take small steps to start new habits no matter how small they may be, and you will start to see some remarkable results.
If you would like help with any of your health and fitness goals please contact us at www.activate.ie

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Lack of street lights a concern

By Sean Moriarty Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue. Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel. “The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue.

Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel.

“The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger to pedestrians crossing the road, particularly between Woodlawn Cross, and what was formerly the Whitegates Hotel,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.
The council said that the area was subject to a recent upgrade and that additional lighting would not be installed along this section of road on top of the 19 LED lights already placed there.”
“The lighting was installed, commissioned, light levels checked and provides adequate illumination to meet the relevant lighting design standards,” a council spokesperson told the meeting.
Mr O’Donoghue also called for a new street light to be placed on the junction where the L.3015 meets the slip road by Glenflesk National School: “to facilitate the safe passage of school children walking home during the Winter months.”
Kerry County Council reviewed the request but said: “This proposal would not comply with Kerry County Council’s Public Lighting Policy.”

COMMENT BY KILLARNEY ADVERTISER

While this Killarney Municipal District meeting took place hours before the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, it drives home the importance that all our citizens are entitled to feel safe in their locality. The addition of a few extra street lights in the areas mentioned is not too much to ask.

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