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Biodiversity at Brittas Bay

Wicklow County Council is working to expand its management of the Brittas Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and enhance its biodiversity interest.

‘Brittas Bay Nature’ is a biodiversity enhancement project centred on Wicklow County Council owned land.   While Brittas Bay North and South beaches are popular recreational amenities, the area is also part of a larger complex of coastal habitats which provide a range of valuable ecosystem services. 

The area is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its important dune habitats and associated wildlife species including notable plants, invertebrates and birdlife. A portion of the site, including the Brittas Bay North and South Car parks and the surrounding areas, are   in Council ownership and the Council is keen to expand its management of the site to have regard to enhancing its biodiversity interest and resilience to climate change.

The project is co-ordinated by the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council with ecological input from Alan Lauder Consulting and funding support of Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government through the National Biodiversity Action Plan fund.

This year’s programme is focussed on habitat and species monitoring, grassland management and invasive species control. A key future step will be the controlled introduction of grazing animals at trial plots to improve the quality of EU protected dune and wetland habitats.

A nature walk is planned for Saturday, 18th September, at 10.00am for interested members of the public to find out more about the flora, fauna and habitats at this important coastal site and to discuss opportunities for getting involved in ongoing butterfly and botanical monitoring. This will be an outdoor event in accordance with COVID-19 guidance.

Attendance is limited and must be booked via e mail to wicklowheritage@wicklowcoco.ie providing a contact number for contact tracing.  A presentation on Butterfly Monitoring undertaken at Brittas Bay earlier this summer was prepared for Heritage Week 2021 and can be accessed on https://www.heritageweek.ie/projects/brittas-bay-nature

For queries contact Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer dburns@wicklowcoco.ie

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