Westfields Wetlands in Limerick City has come to the attention of the public again,local councillor Kathleen Leddin has been to the forefront in this area for many years, which has seen it been saved from development which was granted recently by the Limerick City Manager Tom Mackey.
As per Sean Griffin of the Limerick Environmental Awareness Group Mr.Mackey failed to inform Cllr .Leddin as to why he was left with no choice on his decision for the proposal not to develop the Westfield Wildlife Preservation Area .He would have had to employ two consultants at a cost of over €200,000 ,with the funds in the council at the premium low ,the elected members would have not been convinced.The City Development would have to be altered ,no easy task.Then the investiagation would have to prove beyond doubt that it would have no effect on the wildlife there,and then the wider area of the Shannon Estuary would have to be investigated.A wise move by the City Manager..
Spring is in the air and its fast approaching, thankfully we are seeing the end of the Winter Season at last, It is a luxury to have a weekend of fine weather without the rain, which allows for so many families to venture out together as I witnessed today at The Westfields Wetlands. The Westfields Wetlands have been recognized as one of the few urban wetlands in Europe, it is situated on the North Side of Limerick City close to the Shannon Bridge and the Condell Road.
There are suggestions that a huge development may take place in or around the Wetlands is upsetting to say the least .This is an area which is very popular to so many families, walkers, birdwatchers, conservationists. This unique area needs all the protection it can get…particularly at a time of rampant (and often indiscriminate) expansion. There is a degree of neglect which I have seen recently here ,the paths would need to be upgraded as it is extremely mucky in places and not very user friendly to families or wheelchair users, granted there have been improvements with a viewing platform but a lot more could be done. I would be calling on the local representatives and the City Council to take note, let’s not allow it to deteriorate into neglect!
It’s Time to play Ball and they have 11!
Let’s hope common sense prevails to allow the Westfield Wetlands to survive for future generations.
geoff hunt Says:
To anyone interested? As a member of birdwatch Ireland and a Heritage Specialist with the INTO, I have visited Westfields many times as a Place to study wildlife. It is an excellent location for those who live in the city of Limerick and surrounding area. In fact I would say it is one of very few places in Ireland where you can get close views of wild water birds that include duck, waders, herons grebes etc. The birds of the area have got used to people walking around the edge of the lake and do not fly away. At Lough Gur and various view points along the River Shannon you will find that the birds fly away when you approach. I totally agree with the comments regarding the footpath around the lake. It is a total disgrace. Unfortunately the expensive viewing platform is useless as you cannot see the birds on the lake from there. If they had asked any bird watcher they would have recommended that it would be placed overlooking the open water. West fields is not promoted enough. On one occasion I met an American tourist wearing binoculars looking at the wildlife. I asked him, how did he find Westfield as it is not shown on any signboards. He said by chance. All the map signboards of Limerick City do not show westfields. With regard to the development of the river bank I would have to see exactly what they are proposing. Yes the mud bank is an eyesore because of all the rubbish washed ashore. The snowflake is a rare plant which grows in this area and must be considered. Also the removal of trees would not benefit the wildlife as it would be a loss of habitat and cause disturbance to birds feeding along the shoreline of the River Shannon. to say that no-one uses the area is totally untrue. I have included this walk in my recent publication LIMERICK NATURE WALKS simply because of the wildlife found there. Doing my bit to promote Limerick as a place to visit. Geoff Hunt