Thursday 31 March 2011

Coastwatch claims breach of dunes order

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP Coastwatch has claimed a ministerial restoration order for a protected dune habitat in Co Wexford, degraded by nearly nine years of use for the storage of cattle, is being breached.

The restoration order for Tinnaberna dunes, near Kilmuckridge, was made in January by former minister for the environment John Gormley after complaints by Coastwatch were highlighted by The Irish Times last July.

The order required the damaged area – amounting to some 11 hectares (26 acres) – should be free of visible accumulations of cow dung within three weeks, so it could be replanted with dune vegetation. It was estimated there were 10,000 tonnes of dung on the site.

“The dung removal period is now over . . . but a significant area has not been freed of dung,” Coastwatch said. “Pictures taken . . . show there are acres of the site where dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain,” according to national co-ordinator, Karin Dubsky.

“Of most concern from the human health point of view is the land right beside a stream . . . [which] flows into the sea just north of the Kilmuckridge/ Morriscastle bathing water,” she said.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service recently informed Ms Dubsky that ecologist Karen Gaynor, who has been overseeing the work, is “happy” with the progress made so far.

Irish Times

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