t’s not always easy being green but a trio of local activists have decided to take eco matters into their own hands by launching a highly ambitious game plan.
A game plan that reads like David Attenborough’s Santa list.
We’re talking about the setting up of community-owned nature reserve, returning Kindlestown Woods to permanent native woodland, relisting and protecting Bronze Age hillforts, creating a 20-meter wide riparian way and nature reserve along the full Three Trouts River, adding chestnut fencing and a raised boardwalk on the South Beach, and creating a coastal nature reserve on the North Beach.
Bejiggers, that’s one gargantuan shout into our local eco chamber, but, thankfully, some of these ideas are already in motion, courtesy of an ever-greeningWicklow County Council, the newly-formed Coillte Nature and various independent groups popping up around the county. The hope being some joined-up dreaming might kick in.
The trio in question are local environmental and heritage campaigners Eoin Llewellyn, Annette Vaucanson Kelly and Yasmin Fortune, and they’re set the ball rolling with an online petition.
Ready to sign right about here, this is that Santa list in full…
Help the people create a community-owned Nature Reserve in Greystones & Delgany.
Why is this important? What if we made Greystones & Delgany greener, healthier and wilder?
Greystones & Delgany are currently undergoing a frenzy of development, with new housing estates approved and planted in every available field left. Not only is the infrastructure (roads, public transport links, schools, heathcare, etc.) not keeping up, but nature is taking a huge hit.
So what if the answer to overdevelopment was to create a Community-owned Nature Reserve – a gift to current and future generations? Here are some of the things that could be achieved, for the benefit of people and nature alike: • Expand the Glen of the Downs on both sides of the Three-Trout stream with permanent native forest. • Return Kindlestown Forest to permanent native woodland (under the Government’s new Project Woodland and/or Coillte’s Millenium Forests programme) as each Sitka spruce plot is harvested, and link it to the Glen of the Downs SAC (Special Area of Conservation). • Relist and protect the Bronze Age hillforts of Coolagad (Kindlestown) and Downshill, ahead of the millenial anniversary of the Battle of Delgany 1022. (see Yasmin Fortune’s research here). • Create 20-meter wide riparian ways and a nature reserve along the full course of the Three-Trout Stream, with green link path for people to walk and/or cycle to school and work. (see Eoin Llewellyn’s research here). • Add chestnut fencing and a raised boardwalk on South Beach to protect coastal flora and dune grasses from collapse, plus nature signage indicating plants and insects present. • Create a coastal nature reserve on North Beach, east of the railway line, extending Bray Head SAC (Special Area of Conservation) into Greystones.
If this Nature Reserve was to see the light of day, Greystones & Delgany would become the first biosecure area in Ireland by 2026! At a time when successive lockdowns have highlighted the dire need for green spaces near urban centres, Greystones & Delgany could become a flagship example of a town living in harmony with nature, and a template to be replicated across the county and country.
As the next County Development Plan is being drafted, let’s change the story of Greystones & Delgany – from a town besieged by suburban sprawl, to a place where a greener, healthier and wilder future is possible.
Again, you can find out more about Eoin Llewellyn’s research here, and about Yasmin Fortune’s historical work here. Now, go sign that petition here.
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