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Park - trees

Case Study:

Biodiversity in Public Parks

Park - trees


Malahide Demesne Castle and the remaining 265 acres of the estate were sold to Dublin County Council in 1976, following which it was opened to the public. In 1994, property ownership passed to Fingal County Council.


The castle and courtyard underwent major repair and conservation work in 2012 and visitor facilities were enhanced. The walled botanical gardens and glasshouses, containing Lord Milo Talbot’s collection of plants from around the world, were also restored and conserved.

The 10 hectares (25 acres) of Talbot Botanic Gardens is made up of 1.6 hectares (four acres) of walled garden and 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of parkland botanic collection. The plant collection features predominantly tender and rare southern hemisphere plants from Australia, New Zealand, and Chile, amongst other countries. Its position on the outskirts of greater Dublin means the castle is heavily visited by the general public. It also hosts several events and activities throughout the year, and provides a range of sporting facilities for use by the general public. Combined with this, the previous use of the site as a farm has led to degradation of the green fabric of the park, some loss of biodiversity, and loss of a secure wildlife area due to public use.

To counter this, the management plan has actively promoted biodiversity in all areas of park management. Questionnaires have also been undertaken to set a baseline for wildlife and biodiversity in the park. This highlighted issues with biodiversity in the meadows, lack of age range in woodlands, and the potential loss of habitat for birdlife, bats, and mammals.

Benefits of solution

The Buddlia Garden is a way of providing a habitat for local butterfly species and the meadow encompasses 37 acres for wildlife habitats.

The Butterfly House is a chance for all visitors to see butterflies up close and to learn about their lifecycle (Figure 1). The Buddlia Garden is useful in educating the public on the types of garden plants that can help to rejuvenate insect pollinator populations. The meadow is also a means of educating the public on Fingal County Council’s approaches to the management of open spaces in supporting biodiversity.

Figure 1: Tropical butterfly house, Malahide Demesne, Co. Fingal.


Project Details:

Works are ongoing as part of the Malahide Demesne Development Plan.
Further information 5&id=101908249864893&__tn__=%2As%2As-R 850
Local authority project contact
Pascal Murphy