An Óige Conservation Group

Members of the An Óige Conservation Group
Members of the An Óige Conservation Group

Since its foundation in 1931 An Óige hostels have been providing access for young and not so young people to both the town and countryside environments of Ireland. The An Óige Conservation group is a group of An Óige volunteer members dedicated to promoting a deeper appreciation of our natural and built environment. The group achieves this through the promotion and support of environmentally sustainable policies and practices within the the hostelling association and by providing practical opportunities for members to engage in nature conservation works and learning. Activities are also organised for the appreciation of our cultural and built environment.

A major achievment of the conservation group has been the organisation and support of the introduction of waste recycling systems at many of our hostels, with several achieving a recognised eco accreditation.

Deer Fence at Knockree

Currently many of the activities of the group are based around Knockree Youth Hostel in Co. Wicklow. With the support of a grant from the Heritage Council in 2016, a nature conservation management plan was developed for the 26 hectare site attached to the hostel. The conservation group volunteers are responsible for carrying out the practical aims of the management plan and it has also been adopted by the hostelling association as a strategic objective.  A major step forward in carrying out the management plan was taken in spring 2018 when over a kilometre of deer proof fencing was erected and 10,000 native Irish trees planted out in a new native woodland scheme covering 4.5 hectares. The overall objectives of the plan are the restoration and enhancement of the various habits found at the site and the increase of its biodiversity. The group maintains a dedicated Facebook page – An Óige Knockree Nature Conservation Project

Grounds of Knockree Youth Hostels

The group holds monthly meetings and activities at Knockree hostel  during spring, summer and autumn and at Dublin International Hostel during the winter period. Membership and participation in activities are open to all An Óige members. Notice of meetings and activities are posted on the an Óige website, the Knockree Nature Facebook page, the An Óige volunteer database and the the An Óige Conservation Group members email list.