dune systems can be found along the coastline of County Fingal.
Not only do the dunes provide a place to live for many rare
plants and animals, these dunes are also an important natural
protection zone between the sea and the hinterland. It is
therefore important that the dunes stay in a natural and healthy
Dunes are dynamic
ecosystems and natural processes such as erosion and sedimentation
by the sea and wind shape the dunes on an ongoing basis. Ideally
these natural processes should be left to their own devices.
Sometimes dune conservation action is needed though, and dune
conservation projects are underway in the County at Rush,
Portrane, Malahide and Portmarnock.
The dunes in Portrane are affected by dune erosion, pedestrians,
housing development and some Seabuckthorn. A dune management
plan was prepared together with the local community to address
the various issues affecting the dunes. In 2007, several local
community groups and Fingal County Council built a sandladder
boardwalk through the dunes to deal with the pedestrian access
issues. Several areas of dunes have been fenced off by the
County Council to limit access by people and cars. A 3-year
erosion monitoring programme is to be set up in 2009.
At the south-beach in Rush, Seabuckthorn is spreading rapidly
throughout the dunes, covering a total area of over 3 hectares.
This prickly shrub casts a dense shade and enriches the soil
which makes it hard for typical sand dune plants to grow.
Fingal County Council is working together with the Rush Golf
Club, the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Conservation
Volunteers Fingal to remove and control this invasive shrub.
The dunes in Malahide are a popular area for a stroll along
the beach at any time of the year. To get to the beach, visitors
were walking all over the developing dunes. This resulted
in lots of little pathways being eroded into the sand, thereby
slowly destabilising the dunes.
Post and wire fencing has been erected to control the access
points to the beach and the dunes. This means that people
can still get to the beach, while the dune vegetation has
a chance to recover and develop.
In 2001 major dune conservation measures were undertaken at
Portmarnock to tackle coastal erosion. Several erosion control
techniques were used to various levels of success.
The Local Beach Committee of the Portmarnock Community Association
has set up a programme together with the local secondary school
to monitor the erosion and sedimentation processes on the
beach and the dunes. The Beach Committee also organises clean
ups and Marram Grass planting day with the local schools and
community groups. For more information on this conservation programme contact
the Portmarnock Beach Committee on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on these projects please contact the