A few weeks ago, members of the An Óige team conducted a Webinar regarding the Conservation Plan for our site at Knockree Hostel in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. The Five-Year Conservation Plan was officially launched by the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD, in March earlier this year.
The primary focus of the Webinar was on the problems that the site is currently experiencing such as invasive species and river erosion to name but a few, and the suggested solutions that could use implemented to combat such problems.
While the woodland area around the Knockree Hostel has been the focus of attention in the past, in recent years it became obvious that the remaining three quarters of the site needed looking at too. The area is composed of open fields, hedgerow and part of the Glencree river. The loss of hedgerow and bracken encroachment in the fields are the most noticeable conservation issues.
The An Óige Conservation Group received funding from The Heritage Council to work alongside leading environmentalists over the past few years to create this Five-Year Conservation Plan to conserve the site.
The plan aims at preserving, restoring and enhancing the habitats and biodiversity of the area around Knockree Hostel. The aims of the plan will be achieved through a combination of volunteer work, liaising with other environmental organisations, further grant applications, and the support of An Óige.
An Óige Conservation Group chairperson, Philip Hayden said; “Knockree is a biodiversity gem. Just forty minutes from Dublin, it is one of the last few places in Ireland with access to native woodland. We have an opportunity to create something unique for young people. This area is home to a thriving landscape of animals, birds, insects and fish. We want it to be a recreation and education destination. We aim to have ongoing nature studies, biodiversity surveys and trails for people to explore.