Given that connectedness of the natural environment, biodiversity loss is an issue of concern to group water schemes and is also an issue on which they can give leadership within rural communities.  The all-Ireland pollinator plan provides a practical guide to what can be done on GWS sites to provide food and habitat for pollinators such as bees.  Group schemes should also give careful consideration to their use of herbicides to control vegetation at GWS sites and around valves and fittings and should actively consider non-chemical control methods.  Similarly, schemes should actively encourage alternative strategies to the control of rushes other than the spraying of MCPA, which is a particular issue for Irish drinking water supplies, as reported in Agriland. GWS members should also be encouraged to adopt wider measures for the protection of biodiversity, such as appropriate management of hedgerows.  For further information on the all-Ireland pollinator plan and on wider biodiversity click here