A Thriving Merlin Woods

Local and National Policy Makers

Merlin Woods - Courtesy: Colin Stanley
Merlin Woods – Courtesy: Colin Stanley

Merlin Woods is a large urban woodland located on the eastern edge of Galway City. It is a haven for wildlife and has a high level of biodiversity that one mightn’t expect in a place within the city. We would like to see the following by 2030:
– That Merlin Park Woods is protected as an NHA, SAC and SPC because of its nearby coastal location, diverse species, Annex habitats and areas of International Ecological Importance.
– That the woodland is also protected by a Tree Protection Order.
– That the Merlin Park Woods River is restored, as it had a positive impact on the diversity of wildlife, and that the species that were lost during the river’s destruction are reintroduced.
– That all illegal littering will have ceased and people will see the value of it as a clean environmental space.
– That all illegal logging will have ceased and that the rejuvenation of native woodland species such as oak, ash and hazel will be on-going through management plans and planting schemes.
– That Merlin Woods will continue to be used by schools, GMIT, the university and groups for education through its local history and archaeology structures, geography, biology of plant and animal wildlife.
– That as a social amenity, it will continue to be a safe haven for walkers, joggers, and people with disabilities, runners and nature lovers, free from pollution and away from traffic noise.
– That picnic areas, walking trails and signage will be installed in the woodland.
– That it will be a tourism attraction for visiting wildlife and history lovers and photographers in search of red squirrels, dragonflies, butterflies, orchids, etc., which will have a beneficial effect on local business.
– That Merlin Park Castle will be fully restored and be an information centre on local wildlife and history on the surrounding areas. That it will also have a community space which will be used by local organisations such as Friends of Merlin Woods, scout groups, Foróige and any other groups who wish to hold sessions around cultural, heritage, history and woodland projects.
– That the surrounding woodland will be surveyed by archaeologists and excavations will be on-going exploring the history that lies beneath.
– That land bridges and wildlife corridors will extend from Merlin Woods to other wildlife areas increasing the safety for our wildlife to move freely, decrease road kill incidents and the spread of disease.
– That having this woodland within the city continues to be of benefit in the fight against air pollution and flooding.
– That Merlin Woods will continue to be Galway city’s largest, oldest, urban woodland and its biodiversity will continue to keep it safe for generations of Galway residents and visitors.

Friends of Merlin Woods, Galway