Knockree Conservation Plan Launch

Today An Óige, the Irish Youth Hostel Association announce their plan to officially launch their Five Year Conservation Plan for their Knockree Youth Hostel site on March 10th by the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle T.D.

An Óige bought the 24 hectare site in 1938. They transformed the original hostel into a custom built youth accommodation centre in 2005. They have since turned their attention to conserving the surrounding landscape. The Knockree Volunteer Conservation Group received funding from The Heritage Council to work with environmentalists for the past few years to create the new plan.

Map of Knockree
Map of Knockree site

Speaking about the launch, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD, said “I would like to thank the Knockree Conservation Volunteers Group for developing this plan with the support of An Òige. Knockree has a diverse range of habitats and species present and I am pleased that the management plan aims to maximise the educational potential of the site. I am confident the plan will result in restored habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity which will promote an appreciation of the natural environment and attract visitors to Knockree and Co. Wicklow.

Fritillary feeding on thistle
Rare butterfly feeding on thistle

An Óige Conservation Group chairperson, Philip Hayden said, “Knockree is a biodiversity gem. Just forty minutes from Dublin, it is one of the few places in Ireland with access to native woodland. The landscape is a healthy ecosystem of rare animals, birds, insects and fish. We want Knockree to be a recreation and education destination for young people. We aim to have ongoing landscape management by volunteers, nature studies, biodiversity surveys and trails for the public to explore. First we have to take care of the woods. That is why we chose National Tree Week to launch our Five Year plan.

bluebells in the woods

Knockree Conservation Management Plan Launch

The launch will take place in Knockree Youth Hostel at 10.30am next Friday March 10th. It will involve:

  • Address from Minister Andrew Doyle, Conservation Group and Heritage Council
  • Tree planting ceremony
  • Nature walk through the site
  • Refreshments

Marketing Manager, Roy Murray said, “Most people come to Knockree to get away from the city or to hike the Wicklow Way. They sit out the front of the hostel and enjoy the views. You can see the wooded valley down to the river with Maulin rising on one side and the Sugar Loaf in the distance. This plan will allow young people to learn more about what is here.

knockree butterfly and bee on flower

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