Rathcoole Woodlands saved but vulnerable

After 6 years of campaigning the majority of Rathcoole Woodlands is now zoned 'Rural' in the 2022-2028 County Development Plan. While Rural zoning has no conservation objective, it does mean only activities in line with permitted land use under Rural zoning are possible.

An area to the eastern edge and a strip to the northern edge continue to be zoned ‘Residential New’. If future activities in these Residential New zoned areas were to proceed, they would pose a threat to Rathcoole Woodlands and therefore it remains vulnerable.
However, the Woodlands Group are delighted with the overall re-zoning outcome. It has gone beyond the Group’s initial expectations at the start of the campaign all those years ago. Little did we think that what we thought was a captivating little woodland haven, would turn out to be a habitat of national and unquestionable ecological importance. It has so many significant features, heritage hedgerows, tufa like springs, streams, alluvial woodland, bats and birds of conservation importance. It truly is a biodiversity gem. This outcome is wonderful for biodiversity, rewilding and climate change. We hope the future bodes well for Rathcoole Woodlands under the stewardship of South Dublin County Council.
This achievement was only made possible with the fantastic support of the local community; by signing or turning up for the petitions, by making submissions to the County Development Plan Public Consultations, writing to councillors, helping with funding, producing professional reports, clean-ups, manning the Banner in the Park, providing raffle items and attending Group meetings. The Group is grateful for the support of Rathcoole Community Council and Rathcoole Community Centre who provided much needed administrative support and free meeting rooms. We would also like to thank all our social media followers for their continued support and those who visited the woodlands and shared valuable knowledge and expertise along the way.
We are especially grateful to local councillors who supported the Woodlands, posing motions and questions on our behalf and voting to save the Woodlands.
We look forward to watching the continued evolution of Rathcoole Woodlands in the years to come. A treasure for all to enjoy http://bit.ly/4dwoods