The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland is an all-island centre for archaeology and heritage science.
Wicklow Uplands Council (WUC) is an independent voluntary organisation representing over 50 diverse member groups and individuals with interests in the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands.
Established in 1997, it has since endeavoured to implement its core mission: ‘To support the sustainable use of the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands through consensus and partnership with those who live, work and recreate there’. As well as representing the concerns of upland communities on a wide array of local and national structures, the Council engages and makes relevant submissions on various policies including; County Development Plans, Responsible Dog Control, Outdoor Recreation Policy, Controlled Burning Practices, Renewable Energy, CAP Submissions etc. The Council also undertakes an extensive portfolio of projects that respond positively to the challenges facing the region.
The Heritage Council is the primary core-funder of the work undertaken by Wicklow Uplands Council. This funding allows for the employment of a small number of staff and facilitates the Council to leverage significant project funding. In recent years, the Council has taken a leadership role in promoting biodiversity and landscape actions in the uplands.
The Sustainable Uplands Agriculture-environment Scheme (SUAS) Pilot Project is working in partnership with hill farmers across the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands to ensure the sustainable management of the region’s environmentally significant landscape and sensitive habitats. The SUAS Project is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.
The County Wicklow Deer Management Project is a three-year pilot project commissioned to address the adverse impact of Wicklow’s large deer population through the establishment of Deer Management Units. Strategically managed in conjunction with the Wicklow Deer Management Partnership (WDMP), the project is jointly funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Formed in 2006 to address the growing issue of illegal dumping and fly-tipping in the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands, the Protecting Upland and Rural Environments (PURE) Project has successfully removed over 3,200 tonnes of dumped material from the landscape. The annual PURE Mile Competition currently attracts between 2 - 3,000 volunteers who adopt and enhance a rural area through clean-up activities and the promotion of local heritage features. (www.pureproject)
Trail Developments continue to be promoted through partnership and cooperation with public and private landowners. The recent opening of the Belmont Way and Bray Head Loop adds to the network of interconnected trails in County Wicklow and forms part of the Council’s ambitious vision to develop a 60km scenic upland route from Bray to Woodenbridge. Importantly, these trails link with public transport services, promoting independent access to the uplands and longer visitor stays.
With the support of local community groups, a network of Heritage Interpretative Panels continues to be expanded to towns and villages throughout County Wicklow. Set against specially commissioned artwork, each panel highlights local heritage features researched by the participating group.