As one of the few remaining natural areas in Ennis town, I object to the redevelopment of the lands adjacent to Pairc na Coille retirement home.
Rather than sacrifice another wooded area full of biodiversity, I would like to see other options explored such as setting up an Ennis wildlife interpretive centre on this site. The centre could act as a hub for people to learn more about biodiversity and nature conservation and central to this initiative would be an objective to preserve and encourage more growth of native trees and wildflowers. This effort would be based upon the goal of attracting and supporting more species of wildlife and would fall in line with the objectives set out in the all-Ireland pollinator plan. Finance would be made available through various capital grants and programmes made available through the government for the promotion of bio-diversity.
The centre would accomplish one of the aims published in the Clare Biodiversity action plan which is “to deliver an educational strategy to enhance biodiversity learning among the different sectors of society”.
This amenity would be a fantastic resource for local schoolchildren in Ennis. Bat walks and bird watching would be key pursuits for local groups and the consequential footfall would open up opportunities for an on-site coffee shop. Local businesses would benefit for this reason also.
Ennis town is the capital of Clare and should serve as a window for people to look into the importance of nature and biodiversity. The council should use this opportunity, not to destroy another wildlife area but to re-engage with the needs and voices of its people.
As more and more green space is lost, the need for preservation is more important than ever, and to fail in its obligation as the key-holder to our parklands and woodlands, the council would never be forgiven by future generations.