The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national organisation which collects and manages data on Ireland’s biodiversity in order to document our wildlife resource and to track how it is changing over time.
Wicklow Uplands Council is an independent voluntary organisation representing over 50 diverse member groups and individuals in the Wicklow Uplands.
Members include a broad spectrum of interests which are represented on our four panel structure; Farming & Landowning, Environment & Recreation, Economic & Tourism and Community. Established in 1997 it has since endeavoured to implement its core mission: ‘To support the sustainable use of the Wicklow Uplands in consensus and partnership with those who live, work and recreate there’. We work on the basis of consensus and partnership focusing on projects which respond to the challenges facing the uplands.
What work the Heritage Council is funding this year:
The Heritage Council is the primary core-funder of the work of the Wicklow Uplands Council. This funding allows the employment of a small number of staff and has supported a number of projects. In line with our core objectives, projects in 2016 have included; encouraging best management of upland habitats, the development of sustainable recreation opportunities and promoting the Wicklow Uplands.
A controlled burning workshop was held in February to promote best practice in controlled burning and vegetation management in the uplands. The event was organised in co-operation with a number of upland stakeholder organisations and was attended by over 150 individuals from across Ireland. 2016 saw the launch of the Avonmore Way, a new long distance walking route linking Laragh to Trooperstown. The trail which was developed by Wicklow Uplands Council was carried out in cooperation with public (NPWS, Coillte, WCC) and private landowners and County Wicklow Partnership (CWP). The Sugar Loaf Way, another important trail linking with public transport, has recently been developed and will be officially launched later this year. This trail was developed in co-operation with local commonage holders, WCC and CWP. Importantly these trails link with public transport services, promoting independent access to the uplands and longer visitor stays. The long term vision is to connect these trails to form a long distance off road route. Full details and maps can be found at www.wicklowuplands.ie.
The PURE Project is ongoing initiative which has removed over 2,700 tonnes of illegal dumping from the uplands to date and has encouraged 62 local communities to take ownership of a ‘PURE Mile’ in 2016 alone (www.pureproject.ie). Wicklow Uplands Council has also been invited to present a workshop at this years EUROPARC annual conference. The conference titled ‘We are the Parks’ will bring a range of interests and expertise from across Europe for the 4 day conference in October.