Dubliners invited to view the beauty of ‘city wilderness’

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

An Taisce extends an open invitation to Dubliners to attend a unique event on Wednesday next (February 23). After almost two years in and out of lockdown, Ireland’s national environmental agency will host a series of walks and talks at Bull Island before finishing with a tree and garden walk at St Anne’s Park.

Anto Kerins, conservationist and member of the Natural Environment Committee with An Taisce notes: “This is good news, an open invitation to join a happy, outdoor event, good for the mind and body after a very difficult two years.”

Mr Kerins explained the day’s events come in two parts.

“Participants are invited to come at 10.45am with ‘The Birds of Bull Island’ to commence at 11am, with Pat Corrigan, Manager, Interpretative Centre before he leads the group on a Bull Island Walk at 11.30am. At 12.30pm, we will depart Bull Island for the Red Stables at St Anne’s Park.

“The birds of Bull Island are fascinating creatures, from the brent goose, a migratory bird that comes here for the winter along with waders, like the curlew and godwit, and a variety of ducks, including the beautiful shelduck. Inside the island you can see skylark, stonechat and meadow pipit and the occasional owl.

“You can often see small sanderling running along the water’s edge. But wildlife cannot live alongside humans, so we give them space.

“Bull island gives them that space so it’s a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy the nature of Bull Island, a small but wonderful wilderness inside our busy city.”

People can then enjoy a break and avail of snacks to purchase at Olive’s Room at St Anne’s, before a member of the park staff will lead the ‘Trees and Garden Walk, commencing at 1.30pm.

“St Anne’s Park is such an interesting place, a public space widely used during the confines of the pandemic. The tour will encompass the Rose Garden, the Walled Garden which includes a ‘Physic Garden’, similar to the herb gardens grown at monasteries and by healers in ancient Ireland.

“There’s a lot to see at St Anne’s, the perennial border, Millennium Arboretum, and much more. To finish off, we will visit the peace tree opposite the Red Stables.

“This was planted in September 2017 in a ceremony that included the Brass Quintet of the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, who had also performed in 2014 to mark some historical occasions – the Battle of Clontarf and the commencement of World War 1. In 2017, TY students from Holy Faith college helped to prepare for the visiting band which performed at both local St John the Baptist churches in Clontarf.

“It will be nice to finish our outing at the peace tree with all the challenges to peace in the world today.”

This is a free event, parking is available at the Causeway Road and at the Red Stables. Guests can attend either or both of the events should they choose.

Wednesday, February 23, a guided outing to Bull Island and St Anne’s Park, from 10.45am-2.30pm.

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