East Coast Nature Reserve – Birdwatch Ireland

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Officially opened in 2009, the East Coast Nature Reserve is our largest reserve covering 92ha. It forms part of the extensive Murrough Wetlands, an important coastal wetland complex which is designated as a Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation. Originally, the grasslands were intensively farmed, with tree-lined watercourses and a conifer plantation growing within the fen. Now, following management through an EU LIFE project between 2003 and 2007, the reserve offers a variety of habitats, from rare fen to wet grasslands to birch woodland, which can all be explored on foot through marked walking trails and observation hides.

Limited parking is available at the main entrance to the reserve along Sea Road (turn left after the Castle Inn, Newcastle) or the coastal car parks at either Six-mile or Five-mile Point. There are marked walking trails between each entrance that offer good views over the whole area; please keep to these trails for your own safety and to avoid disturbance to the wildlife. Please do not open gates or climb over fences. Grazing animals are present throughout the summer months. Please respect the wildlife and other visitors and refrain from bringing dogs onto the reserve, other than Guide dogs.



Greystones Coastal Linear Park

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Opening Summer 2020

The new Greystones Linear Park is sixteen acres linking the harbour to the cliff walk.  This park is being built as part of the harbour development and will be a superb new park for the town.  The design aims to protect the coastal amenity and scenic quality of the area while providing a safe and sustainable recreational park. The design includes undulating mounding and a safety barrier to prevent the public from accessing the cliff top edge. The undulating mounding will compliment the character of the surrounding landscape and be reminiscent of coastal dunes.

The design of the park creates new wildlife corridors linking with the landscape along the Bray Head walk. The mounding which shields the public from the cliff edge will also preserve areas of long grass from pedestrian traffic, creating undisturbed wildlife corridors. These areas of undisturbed meadow will be beside the existing open drain which has good vegetative cover and allows wildlife access to fresh water.

The designed mounds will also facilitate the successful inclusion of trees within the park. Not only will the mounds provide shelter for the trees but also the people walking through the park on the path to the Bray Head Walk. This access path has been aligned to follow the desired line.

A long awaited dog park will be located close to the exit onto the Bray Head Walk to ensure that there is a high use area within the park reducing the level of ‘fear of crime’. This area of the park can also be overlooked from the seating areas/ viewing points on top of the mounds.

Dense planting will be focused along the shared boundary with linear car parking and along the railway line. The railway line planting will create a strong wildlife corridor. The planting along the linear car parking will prevent children from running out from the park between parked cars.

The mounds and areas of long grass will only be top soiled where mown paths are to be created. The rest shall be subsoil to facilitate the sustainable introduction of wildflower species. A coastal grass seed mix shall be used throughout. In recreation areas this coastal grass seed mix shall be tailored for amenity use to provide a quality sward. These areas are also sheltered by the sculpted levels to ensure that they have some level of protection from the salt laden winds.

The park will have a strong ‘sense of place’ rooted in the coastal character of the site. Pier stones shall be used to provide seating throughout the park. Given the coastal location, the granite pier stones are a more sustainable seating option than metal or wooden benches. Building stone from The Gap Bridge shall be used to create interpretative signage relating to the development of Greystones harbour. The pathways will be surfaced with Ballylusk 6mm down to dust.

In brief, the park is designed to be a sustainable low maintenance public amenity which reflects the site’s unique coastal location.

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Burnaby Park

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The only communal or public green space within the area known as the Burnaby is Burnaby Park; a substantial urban greenspace with a bowling green, lawn areas and mature trees.  Situated opposite the Train Station, it is a perfect place to rest awhile, whilst enjoying the hustle and bustle of the town centre.

The Tidy Towns together with The Burnaby Residents Association are working on a major community project in Burnaby Park. This will involve substantial restoration and replanting of the park which will result in a significant improvement to this important public open space in Greystones.

The derelict bed along the Killincarrick Road boundary of the park was cleared by a Wicklow County Council and the resulting debris and tree stumps were removed – opening the park greatly.  Over weekends in September and October, work parties from the two associations, took out stones, raked and composted the bed, and made it ready for planting. Species planted, included silver birch trees at the rear of the bed close to the wall and, cascading forward to the edge of the path, a variety of flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses and flowering perennials.

The next stage will involve a partnership with Greystones 2020 who will assist in the application for major funding to introduce new street furniture, new paths and new waste bins to this lovely town centre park

The Burnaby Park covers a large area, the southern boundary being defined by Mill Road, and the northern boundary adjoining Hillside Road. To the west the Burnaby is bounded by Greystones Golf Club and to the east the rail station.

Character of the area

The Burnaby as an historic residential suburb is not alone locally distinct but also of national interest. The Burnaby represents the historic emergence of low-density garden suburbs for commuting families at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries facilitated by the rail-line. The Burnaby is similar in style to the suburban sub-divisions of North American cities and Australian cities of that era. There are few other comparative examples within Ireland as there was in general limited urban development undertaken on the island during the first quarter of the 20th century.

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