Irish Water’s Biodiversity Action Plan branching out in Ballyboden

04 April 2022

Irish Water’s Biodiversity Action Plan continues to grow and flourish, just like the trees at Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant. Over 1,400 trees have been planted at the recently upgraded Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant to protect and enhance biodiversity.  

The water treatment plant which supplies water to over 37,000 people across Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin County is set to become a wildlife haven for small birds and other wildlife. 

The actions undertaken at Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant are part of Irish Water’s Biodiversity Action Plan which sets out a national programme of measures to protect and enhance Ireland’s biodiversity.

Reflecting on the importance of this project, Dr Brian Deegan, Irish Water Ecologist, said: “Ireland is fortunate to have a rich variety of flora and fauna and, as a key custodian of our water resources, Irish Water is committed to playing its part in protecting and enhancing this treasure trove of biodiversity at its 1,700-plus water and wastewater treatment sites nationwide.

Planting trees in the right place, for example here at Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant will provide numerous environmental benefits, such as improving air quality, protecting ecosystems as well as enhancing biodiversity”.

Larry Callaghan, Reservoir Manager, noted that prior to the construction of the reservoir it was often a challenge to keep bird life away from the open reservoir. 

Larry explains: "Now we are in a position to encourage bird and plant life in and around the old pond which is an attenuation area with regular visits from herons, ducks and swans. The grass cutting routine is careful to promote designated areas of wildness. It is a beautiful place to work and we regularly see foxes and sometimes at night we even spot badgers”.

As part of this project, reinforced grass seeding was sown instead of a conventional macadam finish. To date, over 1,200 new trees have been planted within the grounds of the water treatment facility including: Common Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Birch, Oak, Pine and Holly. 

Approximately, 200 new plants have also been planted around the attenuation pond including Tall Feather Trees, Lesser Pond Sedges, Common Rushes, Common Sedge and other water friendly species.

Exciting plans are also afoot with a further 130,000 trees being planted by the utility in the coming months across sites in Clare, Galway, Kildare, Cork, Kilkenny, Roscommon, Donegal, Waterford, Mayo and Kerry to enhance and protect biodiversity.