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13th May 2019 | Uncategorised

Greens call on OPW to ‘rewild’ the Phoenix Park

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Green Party representatives in North and West Dublin have called on the Office of Public Works to revise the Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review away from further large scale redevelopment for tourism and to focus on rewilding the park as an urban resource for nature.

The review is open to public consultation until the 31st of May and local representatives Neasa Hourigan (Cabra Glasnevin), Roderic O’Gorman (Castleknock) and Ciaran Cuffe (Dublin European candidate) have called on locals, visitors and interested parties to make submissions to the process in support of a moratorium on new development and a refocus on supporting nature and wildlife in the park area.

Speaking about the review, Green Party candidate Neasa Hourigan said:

“Our government has just declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. That means that at every level, from our own gardens to the incredible space of the Phoenix Park we should be looking to support and enhance nature and our Irish flora and fauna. The Phoenix Park is a huge site that should offer people in the city the chance to experience the natural world at its best. Urban rewilding is a bottom up approach that starts with the simple act of planting mostly native plants. They are critical to attracting native insects, which in turn attract birds and various animals back to the local ecosystem. And, if we do urban rewilding right, Dublin could become a place where nature is welcome.”

 Green Party Cllr Roderic O’Gorman added:

“The focus of our city’s public realm must be on green space and sustainable communities. It’s a movement that requires big thinking about what we want the future to look like and for each community that future will look different. The idea of rewilding and a return to nature will require collaboration among multiple organizations that bring their various areas of expertise, each doing their part to achieve the end goal of a thriving Phoenix Park. We’re at a juncture where the decisions we make now will impact many generations of Dubliners to come.”

In support of the call European Election candidate for Dublin Ciaran Cuffe stated:

“It’s time to reshape how people in large urban and suburban areas connect with the outdoors. We know how important it is for our own wellbeing and mental health to be close to nature, this is particularly true for children who should be encouraged to experience nature in all its native wildness. By necessity we will be developing a high density urban future for Dublin. It won’t be viable if we don’t share it with the natural world.”

Read our 2019 European Election Manifesto here.