But this was only the beginning of what was to become a new community-based movement.
The sad reality is that just 13% of Ireland’s land and 2.5% of its seas are designated as ‘protected’. And even these ‘protected’ areas are not really such as the Wicklow Mountains (Ireland’s largest National Park) demonstrates. As does the fact that a mere 2% of Ireland is now covered in native woodland. Historically 80% of Ireland was once covered by forests of all types, now, at just 11%, we have the lowest forest cover of any country in Europe. This has led to a very poor rate of biodiversity in Ireland, and it is getting worse. A 2019 report found that 85% of Ireland's habitats had "unfavourable" conservation status, and nearly half of habitats were in decline.
In January 2021, Ireland joined an international coalition committed to protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s land and oceans by 2030 in an attempt to halt a global biodiversity crisis. But progress on this to date has been slow and lacking ambition.
During the course of the petition campaign, many local nature enthusiasts and experts got in touch with the Alvey siblings and a group began to form. It became clear that if radical action is to be taken on restoring biodiversity in Wicklow the local community must lead the charge. In January 2022, a new organisation was officially launched as ‘ReWild Wicklow.’
Read the Constitution below.