Nature Reserves

Conserving vital habitats

Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow

The Kilcoole Reserve is an area of wet grassland behind a shingle beach. It has a number of marshy pools that flood during the winter months which are attractive to Teal, whilst deep in the marshy vegetation Water Rails hide, Reed Buntings perch out on the taller stems and Stonechats are ever present along the fence line. To the south of the reserve Light-bellied Brent Geese feed on the short grasslands during the winter months, whilst during the summer months the largest Little Tern colony in the country gathers to breed on the shingle beach.

Accessibility & Facilities

Given the sensitive nature of the reserve please refrain from entering and view from the adjoining sea bank only.

Opening times: The Kilcoole Reserve is open all year-round although to reduce disturbance to the wildlife please only view from the adjoining sea bank.

Entrance charges: Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.

Facilities: There are no facilities. Parking is available at the coastal car park at Kilcoole Railway Station.


Key Species



Frequently seen flicking their wings while perched along the fenceline uttering a sharp loud call that sounds like two stones being tapped together, hence their name.


Reed Bunting

Sparrow-sized birds the males are resplendent with their black heads, white collar and drooping moustache; however in winter they are much drabber like the females



Small dabbling ducks, the males are often heard giving a clear ringing whistle and with their bright chestnut heads with broad green eye-patches attempt to attract the mottled brown females as winter turns to spring

Check out the latest Reserve News

CorncrakeNewsReservesSpecies Conservation and Land Management
August 18, 2023

Positive news for Ireland’s Corncrake population but numbers remain critically low

BirdWatch Ireland welcomes the news that Ireland’s Corncrake population is on the rise but says that cautious optimism is required as numbers still remain critically low. Data released by the…
Great Yellow Bumblebee at BirdWatch Ireland's Termoncarragh Meadows Nature Reserve ReservesSpecies Conservation and Land Management
May 21, 2021

Conserving the Great Yellow Bumblebee in Co. Mayo

BirdWatch Ireland is not just for the birds. A recent paper published in the Journal of Insect Conservation highlights that our reserves on the Mullet Peninsula hold the highest numbers…

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