New sign posts for Wicklow’s ECNR

October 2, 2019

This July we saw the installation of directional finger post signs at BirdWatch Ireland’s East Coast Nature Reserve (ECNR), in Co. Wicklow. Comprising circa four kilometers of walking trails through woodlands and wetlands, the reserve provides passage to three observation hides and gives access to an array of essential wildlife and priority habitats at various times of the year. Yet in the past, due to the size and layout of the trails, it has often been easy to succumb to a loss of direction, particularly for newcomers to the reserve. Alas, with clearly annotated new signs guiding visitors through the ‘woodland loop’ walk, to ‘5-mile point’ and back and to each of the hides, we hope that this latest installation will help visitors to spend more of their time enjoying wildlife at the reserve.
This project has been a remarkable story of community enterprise and collaboration and it wouldn’t have been possible without a number of partners coming together to make it happen. Our BirdWatch Ireland members raised valuable funds through the 2018 Nature Reserve Appeal, without which this project wouldn’t have possible, thank you.
We say a very special thank you to Roundwood Men’s Shed and Seighean Ó Draoi who created the beautifully carved lettering and assembled the signs and posts, their work has been top class! The Roundwood Men’s Shed has been operating since September 2016. With a total membership of 15 and an attendance of 8 to 10 at each weekly gathering (held at Pat Carr’s place in Knockraheen on Tuesdays from 10 to 12 a.m.), visitors are always welcome and there is always a warm and friendly atmosphere. Besides the tea and chat and storytelling they grow a wide range of vegetables. Through the groups’ woodworking and artistic skills they have been involved in a number of community projects including the creation of a very popular Ogham Trail along part of the Vartry Trail which surrounds the local Vartry lakes.
After construction, we handed the sign posts over to the reserve warden Andrew Lynch and his team of dedicated ECNR volunteers, who installed the signs with great care and precision at selected locations around the reserve. We owe a big thank you to the reserve volunteers and everyone else who was involved in the project individually as we celebrate a collective effort which will create benefits for visitors to the reserve for many years to come.