The East Coast Nature Reserve is Birdwatch Ireland's largest reserve covering 92ha. It forms part of the extensive Murrough Wetlands, an important coastal wetland complex which is designated as a Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation. Originally, the grasslands were intensively farmed, with tree-lined watercourses and a conifer plantation growing within the fen. Now, following management through an EU LIFE project between 2003 and 2007, the reserve offers a variety of habitats, from rare fen to wet grasslands to birch woodland, which can all be explored on foot through marked walking trails and observation hides.
Our volunteers have helped in the reserve with vegetation management that helps keep an important balance to the ecosystem. We have cut back gorse that is encroaching in the fen and helped clear paths so that the Kerry bog ponies can continue to keep it in check with grazing. We have also helped cut back bramble in other places where it was smothering planted native hedgerows which will provide more nesting and food for birds.
Find out more about the East Coast Nature Reserve by reading this leaflet on the Birdwatch Ireland website.