Back in Autumn 2016, volunteers from Knockree Conservation Group collected seed from local plants which they hope to grow on in a small tree/plant nursery at the back of the Knockree Youth Hostel in the Wicklow Mountains. These plants of local provenance will be used in the restoration of some of the hedgerow on the site.
While the nursery was developing the committee work has carried on. They drafted their conservation plan and managed to get approval from The Heritage Council for their Knockree Nature Conservation Management Plan at the end of 2016.
A meeting was also held with an approved forester under the Native Woodland Scheme with a view to making an application under the scheme for an extension to the woodland as set out in the management plan.
The group will now proceed to put into action the steps set out in the plan to preserve, restore and enhance the habitats and biodiversity of the area around Knockree Youth Hostel. The aims of the plan will be achieved through a combination of volunteer work, liaising with other interested environmental organisations, further grant applications and the support of the An Óige organisation.
The Conservation Group are also looking at the possibility of holding an official launch of the Knockree Nature Conservation Management Plan early in 2017. This is an opportunity to generate links with other environmental organisations and especially with the local community, whose involvement is seen as vital to the long term sustainability of the project.
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