Urban pressures on biodiversity

Sir, – In recent years I have been enjoying the wildflowers bordering our roads in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. These are the result of a no-spraying policy and a reduction in mowing. The results are wonderful to see.

In Shankill, this policy has resulted in the creation of an extensive wildflower meadow in beautiful Shanganagh Park. Insect life has increased and buzzards, kestrels, swallows, sand martins, a barn owl, foxes, bats and many other creatures have been spotted. It is therefore very disheartening to learn that this meadow is going to become “an area of intensive active recreation”. This will involve security barriers, concrete structures and nine 25-metre flood-lighting pylons which will operate seven days a week.

Shankill is also awaiting the final National Transport Authority plans for bus corridor 13. The most recent proposals involved the felling of hundreds of fully mature hardwood trees – most of those on both sides of the road in south Shankill and a number of individual trees and a small area of dense woodland on one side of the road in north Shankill. This wood shields nearby residents from the M11 motorway. Can we afford to lose these wonderful trees, some of which are well over 100 years old?

The Citizens’ Assembly on biodiversity loss seems very timely. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.