Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities
Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha
In this Category the Tidy Towns Adjudicator can award 50 Marks
Raising understanding and awareness of the natural amenities in your area, including any aspects that make your area important for conservation (e.g. waterways, field boundaries, coastal features). An appreciation of how species and habitats should be best protected and managed. Provide evidence of good co-operation with expert groups and relevant authorities, especially in carrying out work in sensitive areas. Provision of access to natural areas and interpretation of key aspects.
Most people locally will be aware and have some understanding of the natural amenities in the area, we are lucky here in Newbridge that we are located in a region which has a rich surrounding natural environment. Located just on the edge of The Curragh, with Roseberry Bog* to the north, Pollardstown Fen just a short five kilometre walk from the town and the Hill Of Allen just a short drive away. However by far the most significant resource available to the townspeople is the River Liffey, and the Liffey Linear Park – an area and resource that is important for conservation.
The environment in Newbridge like everywhere else in Ireland it is under increasing pressures, during the period of the so-called “Celtic Tiger” and our local economy experienced unprecedented development and growth. This also resulted in a phenomenal increase in the houses being built in our town; as a consequence we must all ensure that our actions will not have an adverse effect on our living environment, and work to prevent air or noise pollution, pollution of our waterways and the surrounding countryside, and gain an appreciation of how species and habitats should be best protected and managed.
We must strive to protect our local Biological diversity (Biodiversity) – which can be defined as the variety of plant and animal life on Earth or in a particular habitat, therefore we need to act to maintain the variety within and between all species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems within which they live and interact therefore a high level of Biological diversity is usually considered to be important and desirable. It is easier to conserve an existing habitat than to create a new one.
All of us have a responsibility to protect our environment and the quality of life we pass on to our future generations. Unfortunately some of our wildlife habitats and species are under threat from a variety of sources which may include agricultural practices, forestry, and peat extraction, eutrophication (over-enrichment) of waters, climate change, invasive alien species. Land clearance and in some cases uncontrolled development can also be a factor.
We may complain about the rain from time to time, but this rainfall has supplied our countryside with an abundant, renewable supply of pure water that feeds streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and ground waters. Newbridge and its surrounding area supports a very wide range of wildlife habitats:
Hedgerows on our approach roads and in the Liffey Linear Park provide a habitat for birds, small mammals, insects, butterflies, native trees and shrubs, wild flowers, wild fruits and berries, mosses, fungi and lichens. Hedgerows were traditionally “field boundaries” and provide essential corridors for wildlife to pass from one area to the next. Cutting hedgerows is forbidden during the period 1st March to 31st August inclusive to allow time for nesting. Trimming to “tidy up” the hedgerow is best done between September and February, when trimming keep the base dense and wide, and the top narrower. Avoid using weed killers near hedgerows.
The River Liffey supports a number of fish species, otters, waterfowl, swans, herons etc., and bats abound in the area adjacent to the Liffey Bridge.
The Liffey Linear Park provides easy local access to natural areas and contains interpretation boards at various locations to introduce information on the key aspects of the Linear Park.
Old buildings and graveyards (such as the ruins of Great Connell Priory) can be nesting areas for many species of birds and bats, these areas can also support badgers, squirrels etc.
The wildflower / wild grass meadow in the Liffey Linear Park, has been planted with seed mixes which are suitable for the site, all seed planted are from native stock, and sourced from reputable suppliers.
The Old Barracks Arch / Wall, and the wall bordering the Liffey Linear Park, supports Fungi, lichens and mosses.
So get out and get into it enjoy our local environment, and all that it has to offer. When visiting please ensure that you leave the area as you found it and take your litter home.
*Please note that much of Roseberry / Mouds Bog is privately owned property and must be respected as such, some landowners have informed us that they object to walkers being on their property, and we can accept no liability for injury to persons visiting this area.
When planning a conservation project ensure that you take advice and co-operate with expert groups and relevant Local / National authorities, especially in carrying out work in sensitive areas.