A plan to increase, or stabilise, the population of otter, kingfisher, dipper, bats, salmon, brown trout and badger in the Ward River Valley is now part of Phase 1 of the Fingal Biodiversity Action Plan 2023-2030.
This plan, which was originally unfunded and effectively shelved, is now one of the first 20 projects prioritised in the action plan. This means that the preparation of the plan starts this year.
The objectives of the masterplan are as follows:
- Masterplan for the Ward River Valley prepared
- Water quality status restored to good quality
- Salmon spawning ground protected
- Acreage of alluvial woodland created
- Acreage of orchid rich dry calcareous grassland protected and restored
- Length of river habitat restored and number of artificial structures such as weirs removed
- Populations of otter, kingfisher, dipper, bats, salmon, brown trout and badger are stable or increasing.
Cllr Ian Carey said:
“Given all the plans we have in development in Swords this may not seem like much – but it is very good news.
“While we have been pushing to get nature protection in Swords fully funded it is equally important that the actions for Swords get to the top of the list because the action plan is to be delivered over a very long timeline – up to 2030.
Getting the conservation plan for the Ward River Valley right now is really critical as it can inform any of the other developments happening in the area, in particular the building of sports hubs, walking and cycling bridges, and greenways. The last thing we want is for development works to start ahead of a plan for the incredible wildlife that exists in the valley.
“Overall, I’m very happy with how the Biodiversity Action Plan has developed with funding now being given for key projects in the Swords area and we will also have really strong representation for the Swords area on the Biodiversity Forum, which oversees the plan, with myself and Cllr Joe Newman representing Swords in the group.”