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Nature Restoration in Glenveagh National Park

I recently visited Glenveagh National Park in Donegal, where I had the opportunity to witness one of the most ambitious nature restoration projects in the history of the state. The aim is to renew ecological processes at a landscape scale and restore the native ancient woodlands that once existed in Glenveagh.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service will re-establish 1,000 hectares of oak, holly, and birch native woodland over the next century, bringing wooded hillsides lush with native trees and ground flora back to Glenveagh's iconic valley and providing valuable habitat for birds, mammals, insects, and fungi.

Glenveagh's team of rangers, gardeners, education team, maintenance crew, admin staff, and visitor guides have come together to make this vision a reality. They have established a new tree and woodland flora nursery to gather and propagate local seeds on historic woodland sites in the park. They've also developed a comprehensive training module on landscape restoration and woodland regeneration to empower the team with the knowledge and skills needed for this ambitious project.

New training and meeting rooms have been opened to allow staff and stakeholders to share best practice and the gate lodge has been renovated to accomodate research teams and artists in residence.

Existing ancient oak and holly woodlands have been fenced off to protect them from overgrazing until deer numbers are sufficiently moderated. Efforts to tackle overgrazing and reduce deer numbers are underway, ensuring that young trees and ground flora can regenerate naturally.

The impact of these efforts is clear to see. Outside the fenced area, nothing grows due to grazing deer. However, inside, native forests are thriving!

With increased resources for the National Parks & Wildlife Service, staff are now able to think and plan for the long term. The work being done at Glenveagh National Park is just one example of the incredible dedication and passion driving nature restoration projects across the country.


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