New funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will help with resurrecting ponds, enhancing the climate resilience of dunes and rolling out education and awareness initiatives around County Wicklow.
NPWS, part of the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government, is allocating €100,000 to Wicklow out of a national fund of €2.7m.
This will go to fund five key projects, including:
- Resurrecting ponds and enhancing biodiversity at council owned lands at Clermont Campus and Mill Lane, Killincarrig, to support our local amphibians and dragonflies among many others. These new pond complexes will serve as recreation, education, and leisure sites, providing large benefits to the overall wellbeing of local communities.
- Brittas Bay Conservation project: the continuation of the implementation of measures to enhance habitats and species in this important dune complex including ecological monitoring, conservation grazing, removal of invasive sea buckthorn, citizen science opportunities and awareness raising interpretation.
- A countywide hedgerow survey to address this critical information gap and protect these wildlife corridors that also provide carbon sequestration, flood protection, protection from soil erosion and preventing aquatic siltation.
- A Woodland Bat Monitoring Survey in partnership with Bat Conservation Ireland, of two elusive bat species that have more specific ecological requirements (ie woodland specialists) and therefore such species could provide an opportunity to act as an environmental indicator of the condition of our woodlands for biodiversity.
- A series of talks, workshops and community events to connect to the ecological crisis and support citizens in getting involved and creating new projects with their communities.
Chief Executive, Emer O’Gorman, added: “Effectively conserving biodiversity is central to economic and social health. This financial support will greatly supplement existing initiatives from the Heritage and Biodiversity Offices of Wicklow County Council, including the Wicklow Barn Owl project, pollinator friendly management of open spaces, the preparation and implementation of conservation recommendations for council owned lands and outreach projects.”