Massive Restorative project at Devil’s Glen aims to regenerate 135 hectares over the next 4 years

Declan Little Leads Biodiversity Week Walk at Devils Glen

To celebrate national biodiversity week, a walk was held at Coillte’s the Devil’s Glen forest in Co Wicklow on Friday 19th May. The Devil’s Glen is a popular forest walking destination that dates back to the last Ice Age, when melt waters from the ice sheets created a valley and formed a gorge.

Declan Little, Ecological lead at Coillte Nature led a group along the Waterfall Loop Walk, highlighting the cultural and silvicultural significance of this unique woodland. 

Part of the Devil’s Glen forest is characterised as native woodland and includes habitats of Old Sessile Oak woods with tree species such as oak, birch and holly. Regeneration of these native species however is under threat from invasive, non-native shrubs such as cherry laurel, pheasant berry, rhododendron and dogwood, as well as extensive grazing from the local deer population.

As part of its management of forests for nature and biodiversity, Coillte is planning works to help support the long-term survival of native woodland species in the area.

One hundred and thirty-five hectares at the Devil’s Glen has been identified as a priority area for these works. They will help improve the overall conditions of the native woodland, including extending its cover and increasing the proportion of native species throughout. This will also involve managing invasive species and reducing the impact of deer grazing. 

The result is expected to enhance the overall biodiversity of the Devil’s Glen forest to promote wildlife and nature conservation and to create a more vibrant woodland area to be enjoyed by visitors.  

“The restoration of Devil’s Glen is an exciting and challenging project and we expect to restore and expand the old and ancient oak-dominated woodland present especially along the Vartry river,” said Declan Little, Ecological Lead at Coillte Nature. “We are also working closely with Inland Fisheries Ireland to enhance the river which supports important and unique East coast sea trout populations.”

The works will begin in summer of this year and will run up until 2028. Visitors are asked to follow any safety signage on site or instructions from staff while the works are ongoing.

Read more about Devil’s Glen here


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