Newtownmountkennedy resident and chairperson of ReWild Wicklow, Danny Alvey, was recently selected in the prestigious Irish Times ’50 People to Watch’ for 2024. ReWild Wicklow was co-founded in 2021 by Alvey siblings Danny, Ian, Simon and Enya, along with other local environmental enthusiasts and experts. Since then it has grown to over 1,300 volunteers who have worked with the NPWS, NGOs and private landowners on over 25 nature restoration sites.
This innovative people-power movement gained full charity status in 2023 and we have big plans to grow our impact on fighting the biodiversity crisis in Wicklow, including a new community native tree nursery in Newtownmountkennedy.
In the piece in the Irish Times, environmental journalist Catherine Cleary said: “Over Christmas three years ago, Danny Alvey and his siblings Enya, Simon and Ian started a WhatsApp group to get more nature into the plan for the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The existing plan was heavy on ‘new roads and new trails’, Alvey explains, and light on the ecological restoration. They started a petition and, 10,000 signatures later, found themselves meeting Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan. That energy and support has grown into ReWild Wicklow and they now have a volunteer army of 1,300 people ready to take on the work of restoring sensitive ecological areas. The group visits fellow Wicklow nature-based enterprise Wildacres once a season, and has been on 25 different sites carrying out work. Plans for the coming year include a native tree nursery and helping people in other counties set up their own ‘ReWild’ organisations. Going from having ‘no land, no wealth, no experience, just a passion’, they have grown a charity that gets people out restoring nature, where ‘everybody goes home with a smile on their face’.”