FOLLOWING their award from Chambers Ireland for the Navvy Bank Biodiversity Project, Dundalk Town Council in conjunction with the Tidy Town’s Committee are set to make additions to the project, including a new birdwatch platform.
Speaking with the Dundalk Democrat, Peter McVeigh, Executive Engineer with Dundalk Town Coucil confirmed that a new bird watching plaftform is set for the bank.
“It’s great recognition for the project,” says Peter. “We took on the project in 2009 with a grant from the OPW and the project has flourished.
“We have added road signs to direct people to the Navvy Bank, as well putting in place a free to view telescope.
“We are now in the process of putting together a bird watching platform that is going to be made from two recycled steel containers.”
Navvy Bank and the Dundalk estuary is one of the most important bird ecologies in the State, with over 70,000 making their way here every year. Birds from the Artic region, aswell as birds from Canada and Russia flock to the area every year.
“It’s a holiday destination for birds. We also have plans to put more permanent posters with information about the birds that nests at the site. We are working on a design which is based on old cigerette packs from the PJ Carrolls.
“The area is home to the Twite, which is currently an endangered species. We want to encourage the flax meadow environment which is vital for the Twite to breed.
“We also working on possibly running a binocular hire service so people get out there and view the birds.”
Last year they set up bird tables, and a number of local people fed the many avian visitors over last winter, which was vital considering the bitterly cold conditions.
“The project has been a great team effort between a lot of people. We want to build on the success of this project and get more people interested, and to raise awareness of this special environment.
“We are also exploring putting in place a visitor centre of some description to better faciltate visitors to the area.”
The current project has been running two years, building on the success of the development of the walkway in conjunction with Dundalk Port (who own the property) and involves putting the bay, its ecology and its national and international importance for migratory birds as a focal point at the heart of the walk.