Westfields Wetland – The Westfields Wetland covers around 25 hectares and is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Picture: Kris Luszczk
Environmental Experts to draw up management plan for Westfields Wetland in Limerick
Limerick City and County Council have employed environmental consultants FH Wetland Systems, in collaboration with JBA Consulting, to draw up a management plan for Westfields Wetland on the northside of Limerick city by the end of the year.
The Westfields Wetland covers around 25 hectares and is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It is bounded to the south by the embankment of the River Shannon and the Condell Road and, to the north, by private housing.
Westfields is widely used as a local amenity and is host to a variety of wildlife, including migrating wildfowl that visit the area. This area is a regular feature in the annual Tidy Towns competition under the wildlife and natural amenities category and is an invaluable amenity resource for the city residents and a refuge for wildlife.
There are some challenges for the area, from an amenity and biodiversity perspective, which are to be addressed in the new management plan.
Over the years bulrush growth has encroached around the viewing platform at Westfields Lake, making it more difficult to view duck, swans and other wildfowl. This was a popular place for young children to visit with adults and to see birds close up. The lake water quality shows signs of enrichment, which reduces the wildlife value and the beauty of the lake.
Also, there are invasive alien species in a number of areas around the site, which require careful consideration and management.
There are also many opportunities for protecting and enhancing biodiversity; for strengthening local community input and involvement; and for building on this valuable natural amenity for the people of Limerick to visit and enjoy.
Input from the public will be invaluable in creating a robust plan for the area, so register your interest and we will keep you up to date with news and events about the management plan process.
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