Volunteers sought for Sea Buckthorn control at Brittas Bay

Behind the Beach

An opportunity for some hands-on conservation work at Brittas Bay will take place on Saturday next, 5th November.

As part of the ongoing ‘Behind the Beach’ biodiversity conservation programme, the Heritage Office of Wicklow County council invites volunteers to participate in a hands-on Sea Buckthorn removal event.

Those interested should meet at South Beach Car Park at 10.30 am. The exercise is expected to take about two hours.

Sea Buckthorn is a non-native, thorny bush which was originally planted in Ireland in late 19th century as part of misguided efforts to stabilise sand dunes.

The invasive plant has since spread extensively in coastal areas and has proved problematic: de-stabilising valuable natural dune systems such as at Brittas Bay by shading and out-competing native flora, and thereby undermining the overall habitat structure and function of the dunes.

“In a time of exacerbated climate change and biodiversity crisis, it is vitally important to protect dune systems as natural buffers to protect the surrounding landscape from increased storm surge and as valuable reservoirs for biodiversity,” stated Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer.

The upcoming event will be an opportunity to contribute to the conservation of this protected coastal habitat and to learn more about habitat management.

Volunteer effort will focus on cutting back the lighter, young growth plants with loppers in order to control the spread of the plant. The event will be overseen by ALC Nature and full instruction and equipment will be provided.

For those interested in participating please register your interest by email to wicklowheritage@wicklowcoco.ie .

For more on the ‘Behind the Beach’ programme please see latest news on the www.wicklow.ie website.

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