A petition to rewild Wicklow Mountains National Park, started by siblings of the Alvey family of Wicklow Town, has passed 6,000 online. It is in response to the ongoing public consultation in relation to a masterplan for Glendalough and the entire National Park.
“We are overwhelmed with the support from the Wicklow public on this!” said Danny Alvey. “And it has not gone unnoticed by our local politicians with both Jennifer Whitmore TD and Steven Matthews TD reaching out to meet with us.”
Jennifer Whitmore had this to say when asked to comment: “I was delighted to meet with the Alvey family this week and give them my support for the petition to rewild Wicklow National Park. As Social Democrats spokesperson for Climate Change and Biodiversity this is an issue I have raised a number of times in the Dáil. Ireland have committed to the EU target of 30% of land for biodiversity by 2030 but the Government has not laid out how it will achieve this. As it stands we are far off that target and have one of the worst rates of environmental protection in the EU…even our six national parks are not currently managed for positive biodiversity outcomes and none has management plans in place. We need more than just ‘paper parks’. Any land or marine that is set aside for protection must be actively managed for biodiversity benefits.”
Having also met with the organisers of the petition, Green Party TD Steven Matthews is facilitating a further meeting with the Irish Wildlife Trust and others with expertise in biodiversity and regenerative farming. “I’ll also make contact with The National Parks & Wildlife Service and Minister Malcolm Noonan to discuss how we can progress rewilding projects such as this on state owned lands,” Steven added.
The Alvey family attended the first day of public consultation last Tuesday and sister Enya Alvey, who has also joined the campaign, summarised it as follows: “The consultants were very receptive to this and open to including this in the design as the plan develops. They also agreed it was important to keep the pressure on the agencies involved as we all know other priorities can quickly take precedence and the environment is so often neglected and in danger of becoming an afterthought in big plans such as these.”