Draft plan outlined for work on wetlands

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOUTH Dublin County Council has outlined a draft plan of works for the Tallaght wetlands site, which was damaged last year after silt was erroneously spread on the biodiversity-rich wetlands.

The council stated that the spreading of silt across the wetlands came about as a result of “miscommunication” between themselves and an operator.

Tallaght Wetlands Collie Ennis next to the metres of silt dumped ontop of wetlands compressor

Collie Ennis at the wetlands pointing at the spreading of silt

An assessment of the site was carried out by a consultant ecologist late last year, and it has since been completed and sent to the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) for review, with the council releasing details of a draft plan of works for the wetlands site and surrounding locations.

The draft plan of works includes carrying out site investigations to establish depth of water table and the nature of water-holding capacity on site and adjacent to the site, the drawing up of an Alien Invasive Plan Species Management and Control Plan for the area, and ecological monitoring.

Other plans for the site include the creation and implementation of a Habitat Rehabilitation Plan, a comprehensive ecological baseline survey of the area and environs of the site, and the drawing-up and implementation of a Biodiversity and Habitat Management Plan.

The council stated that they are currently awaiting a response from the NPWS in order to incorporate any changes or amendments that may be needed.

The local authority added that, in the interim, an Internal Working Group has been set up to review current procedures in relation to in-river, stream and pond maintenance works, and to review existing guidelines and procedures in relation to same.

The covering of the wetlands caused anger in the community last year, with local conservationist and science officer with the Herpetological Society of Ireland, Collie Ennis, saying at the time that “the whole wetlands site is largely destroyed . . . it’s just heart-breaking”.

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