Dunes must be repaired – Lavin

by Gazette Reporter

A local councillor has called on Fingal County Council to repair and renew dunes that were damaged during a summer carnival earlier this year.

Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) asked the local authority to arrange measures to repair the dunes and the surrounding damaged grass in the area adjacent to the Seabanks car park in Malahide, with a view to saving natural vegetation.

The area was damaged as a result of heavy pedestrian traffic and carnival truck traffic during a funfair held at the location in July 2013.

At a recent area committee meeting, Fingal County Council confirmed that both pedestrian and carnival truck traffic played a part in affecting the vegetation along the stretch of land from the public toilets to the car park.

Commenting on the issue, Cllr Lavin said he hopes to see the natural vegetation form again.

“I’m not an expert in this area so I hope that whatever needs to be done will be done to get it back to the way it was.

“I think lessons will be learned for the future as regards heavy vehicles crossing across that space.

“I saw that myself even before the carnival; there was a lot of pedestrian traffic because of the dry weather.

“People were avoiding the heavy grass and had worn paths themselves through the area. So it’s obvious that it is a delicate area.

“I’m told that it was naturally a sand dune 40 or 50 years ago. The council at the time landscaped it, took the tops off the sand dunes and planted grass on them so there is a grassed area there now. It is normally a picturesque area and I’d like to see it returned to the way it was,” he said.

In response, the council said that it would not be appropriate to import topsoil to the dune habitat in order to reinstate this area to grass.

“Natural regeneration of existing vegetation would be the preferred option, which on examination, is already occurring,” the council said.

According to Cllr Lavin, however, he believes the provision of top soil could be essential in helping the regrowth.

“The dry weather that we had has caused the dune to rip open and the sand is coming through so to restore it to the way it was, I would be advocating that we put down a small bit of topsoil just to re-establish the grass.

“Obviously it would need to be the same or natural grass as was there before. [The council] have said there is evidence of growth already in the sand, but I think the growth will be poor for quite a while.”

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