Westfields Wetlands is a much loved and well used local amenity. It is host to a variety of wildlife, including migrating wildfowl. The area features regularly in the annual Tidy Towns Awards under the wildlife and natural amenities category. It is an invaluable resource for city residents and a wonderful refuge for wildlife.
(Westfield Wetlands images by Sean Ryan)
A stakeholder workshop was held in November 2019 to identify management priorities for Westfields. Based on the output from this workshop (which can be viewed here), Limerick City and County Council tendered for a consultant to develop a management plan for Westfields. Following this process, FH Wetland Systems, in collaboration with JBA Consulting, were appointed to undertake this project which is to be completed by the end of 2020.
There are some challenges for the area from an amenity and biodiversity perspective, which will be addressed in the new management plan. For example, over the years bulrush growth has encroached around the viewing platform at Westfields lake, making it more difficult to view duck, swans and other wildfowl. This was a popular place for young children to visit with parents and grandparents and to see birds close up. The lake water quality shows signs of nutrient enrichment, which leads to algal blooms and reduces the wildlife value and beauty of the lake. Also, there are invasive alien species in a number of areas around the site, which require careful consideration and management.
There are many opportunities for: protecting and enhancing biodiversity; strengthening local community input and involvement and building on this valuable natural resource for the people of Limerick to visit and enjoy.
Input from the public will be invaluable in creating a robust plan for the area, so register your interest or make a submission by emailing email@example.com and we will keep you up to date with news and events about the management plan process. You may also make a submission through My Point, the Councils public consultation forum.