Historic Fernhill House - at the heart of the expansive new park, which fully opens to the public this year

DUBLIN’S newest park opened in Stepaside for a few hours on New Year’s Eve.

 

Five hundred people got to have a glimpse of Fernhill Park and Gardens before it opens fully to the public in 2018.

 

Fernhill is a former substantial family residence with ancillary buildings situated on 34 hectares of gardens, parkland, woodland and agricultural land in an elevated location overlooking Dublin Bay. It was purchased by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for €4.25 million in December 2014.

 

In September 2017, the council agreed a masterplan to develop the estate into a regional park.

 

The first tracks and trails have been completed and the public were invited to visit the park on New Year’s Eve for the first of several planned partial openings that will occur as works proceed.

 

Welcoming the first visitors to the estate, the Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr Tom Murphy said: “This new park will be a fantastic facility for our community. Council officials have prepared a detailed proposal for the development of the park.

 

“The plan includes a range of new recreational amenities and facilities, it also includes pedestrian and vehicular entrances from the Enniskerry Road.

 

“The historic natural character of the site presents the opportunity for developing a unique public amenity, not only to serve the residents of DLRCC and surrounding region, but also as a prime visitor attraction in close proximity to Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains National Park.”

 

Also present on the day was Transport Minister Shane Ross who explored the park with his granddaughter.

 

He said: “Fernhill Garden Sandyford opened for a few hours this morning. My granddaughter Issy and I hugged 33 trees!! Wonderful.”