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 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.
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.