While we all welcome a thriving economy, we must acknowledge the pressure that increased construction, transportation and changing agricultural practices have put on Fingal's natural environment.

Habitat Loss
Habitat loss is the single biggest threat to habitats and its associated plant and animal species in County Fingal. The last decade has seen a major increase in the population in Fingal. The required houses, roads and sewage infrastructure have lead to a major loss and degradation of habitats. Streams were straightened and culverted, trees and hedgerows removed and wildflower meadows dug up. In the countryside, many hedgerows, wetlands and ditches have also been removed to improve the land for agriculture.

All these developments have lead to a net loss of good-quality habitats and a decline of plant and animal species.

Invasive Species

Another more recent threat is the spread of invasive species in Fingal. These are plants and animals that ‘escape’ from your garden, or are brought in from foreign countries and are out-competing native Irish species. Plants such as Cherry Laurel, Rhododendrons, Sea-Buckthor, Japanse Knotweed and Hottentot Fig can be found at several sites Fingal where they completely dominate the area. Red squirrels are only found in Howth these days, as their American cousin the Grey Squirrel has taken over most other woodlands in the County.

The Fingal Biodiversity Programme aims to restore, protect and enhance the natural habitats and its species in the County and address problems such as invasive species.
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