National Transport and Wildlife Corridors-Roadside Wildflora-Using Native Irish Wildflowers

 
 


 
Wildflowers for Irish Roadsides: 

The South-Eastern Motorway. SEM50.

As of the time of writing DBN have sown sections of this motorway in 2003 and 2004. some will be over planted with trees, so we don't expect too much.

1997 - 2004 The South-Eastern Motorway. 
'Native Flora Site Survey'  Start: 28/06/2002
The conclusions of the S.E.M50 EIA Floral Survey, states that the construction impact on the Flora can be kept to an acceptable level. 


The narrow confines of the study (between the take) failed to allow the author to take into account the removal of the living biological links on both sides of the motorway take in relation to the greater bioregion, wildlife corridors and the EU move towards gathering local species for re-establishment on roadside projects. 

Design By Nature would like to advise 'a revisiting by all concerned of the effect of 'splitting' the region' with the construction of the S.E.M50.

Especially in light of the enclosed links to the following report:
Strasbourg, 24 September 2001 CO-DBP (2001) 2 revised [CO-DBP/documents/codbp2001/02eREV] 
Bureau of the Committee for the activities of the Council of Europe in the field of biological and landscape diversity (CO-DBP) 
7th Meeting 29 October 2001 Room 2, Palais de l'Europe, Strasbourg, 
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL AND LANDSCAPE DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS INTO THE TRANSPORT SECTOR website: http://www.nature.coe.int/CO-DBP6/codbp02eREV_01.htm


Our contribution will was commissioned during construction by;

Aidan J. Ffrench 
Landscape Architect,
Parks & Landscape Services,
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council,
Town Hall, Dun Laoghaire. Co Dublin.

The tasks proposed in this Design By Nature survey/ report are small in scale, cause non-disruption of current works, requires only fine-tuning of the landscape design plan and the result can make a dramatic effect. 
There is still time to apply some creative conservation towards protecting the flora and fauna of South Dublin.

Authors and Surveyors: The staff of Design By Nature

Ms. Monica Fleming.
Mr. Sandro Cafolla.

(1) Flora Survey of fields adjoining motorway corridor, south of Carrickmines Interchange as far as Stonebridge Road, Shankill
:
Our Starting Ref: The South-Eastern Motorway. 
Environmental Impact Assessment. Flora Study

Ref: The South-Eastern Motorway. 
Environmental Impact Assessment. Flora Study.
Note: The following survey and report refers to the EIA Flora Study as the main reference. An example of our reference Key = #= EIA, + page number, followed by heading and paragraph. Example # P1, summary 4 "All Grasslands are assessed and classified as upland acidic, semi natural type". 

1. The survey will seek to identify for re-colonisation the habitats that the motorway passes through and consider the species of wildflowers, which are locally present for use in the landscaping of the roadside. The survey uses the E.G.. as it reference point and is supported by field surveys during June 2002.

2. The 'Site Survey' will identify species which are useful to roadside landscape horticulture and specific to conservation and will focus on identifying colonies and ecosystems where flora occur with a view to saving seeds and plants and replanting native species.

3. The 'Site Survey' will identify the existing Wildlife Corridor (line corridors) specifically in relation to Flora and will consider Fauna to the extent that it impacts on local species or can be assisted by landscaping with flora. 

SEM50_2002_native_flora_field.png (175509 bytes)

 

 


 

1. The survey will seek to identify for re-colonisation the habitats that the motorway passes through and consider the species of wildflowers, which are locally present for use in the landscaping of the roadside. The survey uses the E.I.A. as its reference point and is supported by field surveys during June 2002.

Identify existing floral communities and species & consider immediate protection. 

Terrestrial. Identify habitats for seed collection of native species
The following list of communities are identified for there value in providing seed sources for the future landscaping of the project.

1.1 Our Ref: Yellow Rattle Field Ch.16500-16600 North. 
The meadows at Ch.16500-16600 contain Yellow Rattle, Meadow Buttercup, Selfheal and Ribwort Plantain with native grass species Crested Dogstail, Yorkshire Fog and Common Meadowgrass. These species found are typical of the semi-natural grasslands of this area and suitable for re-establishment of plant communities on roadside verges, open spaces and roundabouts that can be maintained (cut) at least once per year.

The Yellow Rattle Field has been divided by the road and is now in two parts, for this survey the smaller lower section to the North/East of the Road, is of most value to conservation of the seed and soil bank.
The smaller lower section to the North/East should be considered as a gene bank for seed that can be used on the roadside verge planting. This field is owned by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. (Please Confirm). (The Western larger meadow above the road is owned by Mr. Noel Leonard, who was phoned on July 02 2002 by Author and a date has been agreed to collect seeds from the meadow prior to the meadow being cut for silage). 

1.2 Our Ref: Hop Trefoil Meadow Ch.14300-14600. West
The meadows at Ch.14300-14600, to the north of the road development are of interest as they contain typical semi-natural grassland vegetation for this area. They contain Sorrel, Ribwort Plantain, Field Buttercup, Hop Trefoil and some native grasses, such as Sweet Vernal Grass, Yorkshire Fog, Common Meadowgrass and Crested Dogstail. 

1.3 Our Ref: Meadow Buttercup Meadow Ch.14200-14400. North
There is an area of pasture behind the fields at Ch.14200-14400 to the East-north of the road development. At the time of the survey this area was being grazed by livestock. Field Buttercup was noted in abundance here. 

1.4 Our Ref: Hedgerow Flora.
Hedgerows in the area consist largely of Ash, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Bramble and Elder and a ground flora with species such as Stichwort, Primrose, Wood Avens, Cow Parsley and Hedge Garlic. # General letter of permission to be sought to allow access and right to pick seeds of all local hedgerows.

1.5 Our Ref: Flora throughout the South-Eastern Motorway area. 
Throughout the area there are small amounts of species as listed in EIA, that can be considered for conservation through seed collection. Due to the small nature of the amounts of plants these species can be collected as seed becomes available.
Design By Nature collects seed of such species as a matter of course during the normal harvest.

1.6 Our Ref: Protected Species. 
No protected species were noted or will be collected in the area.

1.7 Aquatic
Streams and wetlands in the Brides Glen and at Carrickmines have a similar flora with species such as Brooklime, Flag Iris, Meadowsweet, Reed, Floating Sweetgrass, and Watercress. Most of the species found can be collected, some are best propagated from cuttings, these species will be considered in the landscape plan.

1.8 Identifying soils and seed rich soils for reuse on road landscape. 
The General Soil Map of Ireland, published by the National Soil Survey identifies the main soil type in this area as No. 8, Brown Podzolics with associated Gleys and Podzols, with upland Blanket Peat ,the parent material being granite. The road will also run through an area of soil type No.38, Grey Brown Podzolics , the parent material being Till of Irish Sea origin with Limestone and Shale.

In particular the soils are low in nutrients, tend to dry out and are suitable for a specific mixture of wildflowers, some of which do not occur locally but are found within 10 miles radius of the roadway. In relation to the roadway, grasses sown on such soils will tend to flower early in June and will go Golden/hay colour in July, these grasses will be a fire Hazard unless managed. If verges are sown to hybrid grasses commonly available from suppliers the grasses will require feeding to keep green and fresh looking, this is probably unsustainable on embankments. Our Suggestion is to Design with nature in mind and not to feed the soil and accept that the golden colour of hay will be suitable and defining in the landscape design, but to plan the design to allow cutting of the verges / open spaces and using specialist machinery to cut the embankments.

1.8.1 Our Ref: General Soil throughout the Area. 
Soils that have been stripped for road construction have been tipped into large mounds and topsoil has been mixed with subsoil. At the time of this survey these mounds were covered in a vegetation of rank grasses and weeds - species such as Ragwort, Rosebay Willow herb, Nettle, Creeping Thistle, Spear thistle, Charlock, Creeping Buttercup, Cocksfoot and False Oat grass. These species are undesirable species for roadside verges as they are invasive and difficult to manage. They will choke out any emerging native Wildflora when the topsoil is spread in its final resting place. Where this soil is used to provide a medium for wildflower plantings, the weed seed bank should be allowed to germinate and the weeds should be sprayed with weed killer, and then seeded with wildflower mixtures.


1.8.2 Our Ref: Archaeological soil at Carrickmines. Soils excavated in association with archaeological works in the Carrickmines area may be of some value. Germination tests should be carried out as soon as is possible. Spread small amounts of soil in a suitable test area and monitor germination of wanted and unwanted native flora. The soil stripped in this area is mainly topsoil and has been mounded in numerous small mounds. The vegetation growing on these mounds consist of arable weeds, e.g.. Poppy, Oxeye Daisy. 
This soil in this area, may be stored and applied locally to slip roads and to mark the S.E.M50 when it passes the archaeological dig area, Such use of this soil will mark any difference in the local landscape at the vicinity of the archaeological works.


1.a. Identify a holding ground for recovery of flora and identify space for intermediate short term planting or storage of specific soils and species
Any area that will not be driven over or dumped on is suitable for the purpose of storing soil. If such an area can be procured and cordoned off from machinery it can be used to store shallow mounds of topsoil to 2 metres. The areas should be close to where the stored soil will be used on the road. 
It is our belief that stored soil should at the time of storing be covered or over-seeded with Common Bent grass to control weeds.

Soil at Yellow Rattle Field Ch.16500-16600 North. 
This field offers an opportunity to strip soil and use as a seed bank for wildflower reseeding of the road landscape. The field should not be totally stripped unless its land use is to change, with a loss to the existing flora, instead the field can be stripped in 2 Metre stripes with an alternative soil used to replace the stripped soil. When the verges are ready 1/3 to 2/5 of the soil in these fields can be stripped to 6 inches just prior to placement, the soil should be stripped in such a way as to preserve the field, and stored as per standard landscape spec. to < 2 m, 
Stripping can occur in one metre lines with one metre gaps where the flora was left untouched, Machinery should make good any tracks. The flora will reseed itself back into the field.
Soil stripped from this area can be stored in the field, on parts of the field Ch.16500-16600 North, where the flora is poor 
Protect the field. Even after stripping. The stripped soil can be replaced with similar top soil and managed as farmland until the native plants seed themselves into the new topsoil , thus protecting the field.


Soil at Hop Trefoil Meadow Ch.14300-14600. West
At the time of this survey, areas within the vicinity of the archaeological dig, approx.
Ch.14300-14600, are undisturbed by machinery and works. This area would be
considered a safe holding ground for topsoil from adjacent flora rich meadow at : 
Hop Trefoil Meadow Ch.14300-14600. West


1.b. Identify habitats for seed collection of native species.
The EIA identifies many sites where flora exists and is useful for roadside landscaping.
Our site survey carried out in June 2002, revealed little other than is recorded on the EIA.
The above mentioned sites of this report are the most valuable, however the following should be assessed.
1.b.1. Terrestrial: Semi-natural meadows in the vicinity of the road works and meadows in the Kilternan area.
1.b.2. EIA # P30, Point 3, Poa chaixii, please supply details of the current status of this species, it was not seen on our visit.
1.b.3. EIA # P22, Pasture. Soft rush can be collected as it is a very useful species for stabilisation of steep banks around springs 
1.b.4. EIA # P23, Waste Ground , Permission to be sough and granted to DBN to collect on this ground at Central Bank to Leopardstown and Murphytown road.
Grass species to be collected are: Early Hair Grass and Squirreltail fescue, as well as most of the commonly occurring grass species.
Forbes to be collected: Common Poppy, Long Headed poppy, Common Speedwell, Forget-me-Knot, Greater Plantain, Ribwort Plantain, Pineappleweed, Red Dead Nettle, Scentless Mayweed, Meadow Buttercup, Wild Angelica, Marsh Bedstraw and Marsh Mint.

1.b.5. Aquatic: Streams and Rivers in the area.
1.b.5.1. Wetlands EIA # P 17 Wetlands. Species to conserve by seed and vegetative collection are Bulrush, Salix sp, Lesser Celandine, Watercress, Yellow Flag Iris, Brooklime, Cuckooflower, Square Stalked St Johnswort and Marsh horsetail (an invasive weed suitable for compacted clay soils and ideal for no cut meadows on embankments). These species can be very attractive and beneficial to wildlife, all are ideal for re-establishing river/stream side banks, more importantly they are also ideal for filtering solids and oils from flood water drainage pits and surface water gullies. Mr. Aidan FFrench should source Reeds and Nettle locally both of which are also ideal to lock up nutrients in water prior to the water reaching the rivers and streams. The EIA reports both species locally but we did not see Common Reed in the section we were asked to survey.


(2) Collect seeds of species to be identified in Flora Survey by agreement with local landowners and/or occupiers.

Our Ref: Yellow Rattle Field Ch.16500-16600. The meadows at Ch.16500-16600 contain Yellow Rattle, Meadow Buttercup, Selfheal and Ribwort Plantain with native grass species Crested Dogstail, Yorkshire Fog and Common Meadowgrass. These are typical of the area and suitable for re-establishment .
The Yellow Rattle Field has been divided by the road and is now in two parts, for this survey the smaller lower section to the East of the Road, is of most value to conservation of the seed and soil bank.
The smaller lower section to the East should be considered as a gene bank for seed that can be used on the roadside verge planting. This field is owned by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, ( Please Confirm). 

(The Western larger meadow above the road is owned by Mr. Noel Leonard, who was phoned on July 02 2002 by Author and a date has been agreed to collect seeds from the meadow prior to the meadow being cut for silage, on 5/07/2002). 
The eastern smaller field if the property of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council conserve this field at all cost, due to the density of Yellow Rattle it is the best remaining example of native farm flora in the area do not allow any machinery to damage the surface, maintain as farmland and restrict farming practice as suggested in this report. 
The entire field should have fences checked and made good if required and the gate should be locked against all horses and stock.. Erect a sign at the gate to notify that the field is out of bounds. Organise and agree management plan with farmer to cut the eastern smaller field meadow as follows: After seed harvesting in July, following confirmation that seed collection is finished the meadow can be cut for silage or hay, according to the farmers requirements.
Light grazing should occur until October and the field should be closed to cattle until seed harvesting the following year.
Note: Consider the management of this field after the road is opened to traffic, will cattle have access to the field? Will the farmer Mr. Leonard continue to cut silage/Hay? As the field will require cutting as a meadow to protect the yellow Rattle. Could the field become part of the Councils Biodiversity Plans?

Collection of Yellow Rattle seed to commence 2002 and again 2003, the 2002 crop of seed should be removed and grown, while the 2003 crop should be sown directly in Autumn 2003 or Spring 2004 On the roadside.
Rattle seed is viable for 12 months and requires cold treatment to germinate. 

Design By Nature will take full responsibility for seed collection, drying, cleaning and storage, the seed can be contract collected or permission given to DBN to carryout all work and payments made from DBN to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the seed and then sold as per our normal terms and conditions.


Seed Collection
Liase with Mr. A French to approach landowner and explain our work, the process involved and the impact for the land user. Done 02/07/2002
Arrange with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to Harvest lower Rattle Field.

Where the landowner demands payment DBN will provide suggestions for cost awards to land users, based on our experience of paying farmers throughout Ireland, typical payments are from 60.00 Lowest to Average Euro240.00 highest Euro 560.00 per acre depending on the value of seed to be collected.
On Council owned lands seed will be purchased from council at same rates to farmers or we will collect/harvest dry and store as per day price (below).
Following agreement, DBN will then collect seed in 2002. 2003 and on until sowing, some locally collected species can be propagated at our nurseries for bulking up and others stored until time to sow.
DBN can carry a financial burden up to Euro 5,000.00 to collect and pay for seed after this amount a purchase order will be required to enable the finance of seed collections specifically collected for the motorway.


(3) Recommendations for wildflower/grass mix establishment and
maintenance the section of motorway

Note: Spoil and soil heaps should be monitored throughout he year for annual and biennial species which may emerge during construction.
Recommendations for wildflower/grass mix establishment and maintenance the section of motorway;
The soil of the area is on acid sub strata and will vary from neutral to slightly acidic, except where liming was carried out on agricultural land in the immediate years prior to soil stripping to make the road, the effect of lime will be short lived. The species listed in the EIA all indicate a mildly acid to neutral soil. The native species recommended for landscaping as follows:


Embankments
A specialist wildflower seed mixture is required for the embankments where they are too steep to cut. The mixture can be sown across the slope with specific placement of species for the fertile top, driest mid and wetter fertile lower slope areas.

KEY: 
+/>Robust upright species that can withstand no cutting over many years.
~" Species which if in very dry situations on shallow soil will persist in long grass.
*< Species which will survive moist conditions.
() Species for nitrogen fixation

Lower Slope

+/>Burdock 
+/>St Johnswort
+/>Meadowsweet
+/>Hemp Agrimony 
+/>Wild Parsnip ~" Hoary Plantain *< Devil's Bit Scabious +/>Purple Loosestrife


Mid Slope

~" Biting Stonecrop ~" Yellow Rattle 
~" Red Bartsia
~" Kidney Vetch () ~" Birdsfoot Trefoil () ~" Lesser Century ~" Selfheal ~" Black Meddick () 
Upper Slope

+/>Field Scabious ~" Mullein
+/>Hedge Woundwort
+/>Lady's Bedstraw *<Ragged Robin +/>Yellow Agrimony +/>Bush Vetch () 
General species for all of Slope.
+/>Vetch Common *<Meadow Buttercup
() Red Clover
+/>Cowslip
~" Ox-eye Daisy
~" Ribwort Plantain
~" Wild Carrot +/>Lesser Knapweed +/>Yarrow


Annuals added as nurse crop.
Corn Poppy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Corncockle, Scentless Mayweed, 
Pineappleweed 
This seed mixture can contain locally originated species where such species are collected. 



Meadow Mixture - MM01 - Barren Soil wildflower seed mixture will grow on infertile soils of any type. 

This mixture flowers well and can be cut in July to keep tidy. If cut later make sure you 'gap create'. MM01 is a very popular mix for shallow soils and for use on large areas, irrespective of soil type. This mixture has been revamped for better colour, particularly in the early years. Later in the third year after sowing on infertile soil this mixture will perform well as native grasses (which are in the soils seed bank) will not be too invasive due to the poor soil. MM01 has 40% annuals & biennials 


Species 
Kidney Vetch
Lesser Knapweed
Cowslip
Devil's Bit Scabious
Field Scabious
Wild Carrot
Foxglove
Ox-eye Daisy
Yellow Rattle
Hoary Plantain
Purple Loosestrife
Sorrel
Field Buttercup
Yarrow
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Meadowsweet
Corn Marigold
Corn Poppy
Redshank &/or Corncockle
Scentless Mayweed
St Johnswort
Ribwort Plantain
Black Meddick
Red Clover
Mullein
Perennial Mayweed
Wild Angelica
Selfheal


Meadow Mixture - MM02 - Clay Soil will grow on any soil, MM02 is a medium tall mix best suited to heavy moisture retentive soils found throughout Ireland. This mixture will grow very well on raw clay soils or new clay after construction. 
Marjoram, Oxeye, Yellow Agrimony, St. Johnswort (Hypericum), Bladder Campion and Field Scabious are the most beautiful of all wildflowers and if you can establish them they will flower for years. However on clay soils grasses can reinvade, as here is plenty of moisture. MM02 needs careful attention to secure a meadow in the third year. Do not let sown or wild grasses out grow the wildflowers, if they do cut the meadow back to 4" and remove the cuttings. Clay soils tend to be fertile and as such the meadow mixture should be cut in spring and summer and if you have the time again in Autumn. Always clear the cutting and do not let any more fertility build up on clay soils. 


MM02 Clay Soil wildflower Mixture.
MM02 Clay Soil wildflower Mixture will be suitable for large areas where the soil is compacted and where drainage is poor.
Burdock is included in this mixture, it is an interesting plant that will attract a lot of birds and butterflies. It has very large leaves and burs that make excellent dried flowers. If you do not like the Burdock after flowering cut the tall seed heads. Buttercup will provide great spring colour to start the season but MM02 will be at its best in July. 

Species
Bladder Campion
St Johnswort
Woundwort
Cowslip
Yellow Agrimony
Selfheal
Yarrow
Burdock
Purple Loosestrife
Marjoram
Hoary Plantain
Ox-eye Daisy
Devil's Bit Scabious
Corn Marigold
Ribwort Plantain
Yellow Rattle
Red Clover
Wild Angelica
Field Scabious
Sorrel
Meadowsweet
Lesser Knapweed
Corncockle
Wild Carrot
Redshank
Corn Poppy
Scentless Mayweed
Field Buttercup



Meadow Mixture - MM06 - Moist Acid Soil 
Meadow Mixture - MM06 - Wildflowers for Moist Acid Soil is the traditional Hay meadow of damp soils and will grow in most Irish situations. MM06 is stock tolerant and can be cut anytime from April to May and again July to September, but it must be cut. 
Some of the wildflowers in this mixture will form large clumps of colour, while the rest will grow happily throughout the meadow. 

This mixture will suit large flat areas which retain moisture and can be cut.

In early summer Ragged Robin will flower pink amongst salmon pink Sorrel. Sorrels looks like a delicate Dock leaf, it's the same family so do not rush out and spray it off. Sorrel is a most beautiful flower when caught by the evening sunlight. Sorrel dies if any meadow is left uncut. High to late summer sees huge clumps of Meadowsweet, Loosestrife and yellow Iris, these can be cut just as the flowers fade to allow the deep blue of Devils bit to flower in the shorter grass or it can be left uncut until mid September. Cut it early in the morning when the grass is dewy wet and the stems are like butter, don't wait until afternoon as the job will get difficult. 
Species

Selfheal
Ragged Robin
Red Bartsia
Water Avens
Corn Marigold
Black Meddick
Foxglove
Lesser Knapweed
Ox-eye Daisy
Red Clover
Corn Poppy
Hemp Agrimony
Purple Loosestrife
Wild Angelica 
Yarrow
Flag Iris
Meadowsweet
Meadow Buttercup 
Lady's Bedstraw
Devil's Bit
Scentless Mayweed
Yellow Rattle
Corncockle
Redshank 
Ribwort Plantain
Sorrel



Meadow Mixture - MM07 - Dry Acid Soil is designed for the (low rainfall) dry East Coast of Ireland and parts of the South-East Coast where the rain fall is low and where the soil is neutral to acid (without Lime). MM07 is ideal for shallow stony soils, especially with a slope; usually these soils contain flat stones mixed throughout. For wet areas with high rainfall see MM13. 
The biennial sky blue Sheep's Bit and a mixture of Heathers are included although difficult to grow. If the conditions are suited they make a lovely addition to this mixture.
MMO7 requires cutting every year and most of all raking or 'gap creating' to keep the weeds from invading it. If the site allows, instead of cutting this mixture can be 'burnt off' with flame as many of the species respond well to starting afresh on new clean ground.

Species 
Devil's Bit
Purple Toadflax
Kidney Vetch
Meadow Buttercup
Red Campion
Ribwort Plantain
Selfheal
Sheep's Bit & 
Wood Sage 
St Johnswort
Corn Marigold
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Red Bartsia
Black Meddick
Bluebell
Foxglove
Heather (difficult)
Lesser Knapweed
Hoary Plantain
Corn Poppy
Mullein
Sorrel
Yarrow
Yellow Rattle
Ox-eye Daisy
Red Clover
Wild Carrot
Purple Poppy
Corncockle
Scentless Mayweed
Perennial Mayweed 



3. The 'Site Survey' will identify the existing Wildlife Corridor (line corridors) specifically in relation to Flora and will consider Fauna to the extent that it impacts on local species or can be assisted by landscaping with flora. 

 Bioregion wildlife corridor. The East Coast of Leinster acts a wildlife corridor for many species of Flora and Fauna; some of the fauna is of international importance and includes specific habitats of significance. 
Fauna is vital to native flora for many reasons. Concern for Biodiversity demands that the relationship of all life is protected whether discernable or not.
As aspects of this survey depend on the intangible, we advise that the issues raised herein are revisited by the landscape team in their final placement of elements on the S.E.M. 
Our advise is to plant the roadside in such a way that it attracts wildlife and protects it, that the planting re-establishes the wildlife corridors and that the planting reflects the local countryside, it-self an endangered resource in South Dublin.

This report seeks to identify the opportunity of the landscaping of the M50 South Eastern route on the flora and in relation to the fauna. Some of the flora depends on the fauna to disperse its seeds and perform other functions necessary to a plant or plant community.

Conclusion: Dublin Bay and Mountains are very important for over wintering, and summer migrant species of birds. The road intersects the south eastern access to Dublin for wildlife and will have a major impact. Given that the M50 will form a barrier against wildlife around the entire city.

The general bioregional area: The divide created by the South Eastern route of the M50 will cause a break between the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains and the coastal corridor. This break in the existing wildlife corridor will have an effect on over wintering birds which are often exhausted after long migrations, especially in hard winters when food is scarce. 
Concern is especially relevant for some of the smaller common over wintering birds such as, Bunting, Warbler and Finches as well as rarer species, Black redstart, Waxwing and Snow Bunting. 

Species arrive to Ireland as migrants direct from Wales to the borough of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, often to landscapes such as Dalkey Island/Dalkey Hill, The West Pier, Shanganna, Boosterstown Marsh, and Killiney Beach. While many over wintering species stay close to the coast, in periods of hard weather they head inland. Summer migrants search large areas for food of caterpillars and insects and thus form part of the biological control for tree, shrub and garden pests.
Where breaches in the wildlife corridor occur, the flora will change in often imperceptible ways such as the amount of seed dispersal accommodated by birds, the reduction of pests and even in the variety of song at dawn chorus, which is valued by so many. In some cases less seed of weed species will be eaten, in other cases more pressure will be placed on already scare seed sources. 

The road will impact in that the privacy of previously narrow width roads with often overhanging trees. The security of over hanging trees in close proximity will be gone. (Small seed and bud feeding birds tend to be shy beyond 10 metres away from cover with 44 metres the distance away from cover that most species cease to be active). 

Hedgerow and shrub communities that are dissected by the road will cease to form part of the wildlife corridor. River valley landscape and open field systems that are cut across further reduce the wildlife corridor.

The Wicklow/Dublin Mountains allow access to bird life and other fauna to South Dublin. South Dublin is a sheltered area often out of the worst of Irish winter weather, the area offers important sources of food and protection.

The tidal coastal region, the abundance of open urban space as well as the tree and berry filled shrubs of street and gardens of the Borough, all act as an important winter feed source. Household waste, bird tables and garden ponds add additional feeding value to the borough. 

Many species visit the area throughout the year adding to the migrant populations is the resident bird life, most unusual is the Blackcap, which visits gardens from the mountains. Protection of the wildlife corridor is essential for nature conservation in Ireland and would assist in the protection of about 2% of the total population of Irish bird life in Ireland and about 12% of certain species. In some cases the only recorded visits for a particular year are found in the borough.

Flora protection along the wildlife corridor is recommended along and across the M50 to ensure that there is minimum disruption to the routes used by wildlife.
Priority. To this end the following seeks to consider the use of wildflowers as an element of an overall landscape plan.


Wildlife corridor routes: 
1. Running North / South along the coast.
2. Running North East / South, South West along the hills.
3. Harcourt street Line
4. Hedgerows. # P 19, 
5. Grasslands. # P 21,
6. Pastures. # P23, Pastures Paragraph 3 EIA Comment. The removal of these pastures will have impact as the remaining pastures are now more likely to be developed, thus the long term sustainability of the existing 'impact-able' corridor will be effected. The total loss of fields in south Dublin is the issue not just on the road.

7. Waste Ground. # P24, Waste Ground Paragraph 3 EIA comment. The removal of these pastures will have impact as the feed biomass generated by waste ground is 800kg per acre in seed alone, never mind insect value and insects as a food source, where are the local bird species going to get there food? Again, the total loss of waste ground/fields in south Dublin is the issue not just on the road.
8. Rock outcrops. Not covered in this report.
9. Watercourses as wildlife corridors for the area and as stand alone corridors
The many pockets of wet ground found throughout the site. # P 17, Wetlands. 
The River Ticknock. 
The River Carrickmines. # P 18, Wetlands. The River Carrickmines
The River Shanganagh.


10. Waterbodies.
IDA Lake.
Water Reservoir.
Ecology Park.
11. Woodland
12. NEW CONCEPT. Gardens of Importance. The SE M50 Motorway at Carrickmines is the start of the entrance to the garden of Ireland Co. Wicklow.

Wildlife corridors in relation to terrestrial habitats. 
The wildlife corridor, which is mainly pasture and hedgerow, is segmented at present by small roads (Glenamuck Road, Brides Glen Road, Rathmichael Road and Mullinastill Road). There are also large arable fields and residential developments that have segmented the landscape. Hedgerows and open fields are valuable contributions to the wildlife corridor.

Wildlife corridors in relation to aquatic habitats.
The River Ticknock. 
The River Carrickmines. # P 18, Wetlands. The River Carrickmines
The River Shanganagh.
Mr Aidan FFrench has stated that he will pay particular attention to the replanting of Riverbanks and protection of all the water-bodies in the area. 

Species which germinated by Oct 2003


SEM50 
Wild Parsnip 
Hoary Plantain
Devil's Bit Scabious 
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Black Meddick
Field Scabious 
Meadow Buttercup
Red Clover
Ox-eye Daisy
Ribwort Plantain
Wild Carrot 
Yarrow

Species which are due to germinate by spring 2004,
Cowslip
Lesser Knapweed 
Burdock 
St Johnswort
Purple Loosestrife
Kidney Vetch
Lesser Century
Selfheal
Mullein
Lady's Bedstraw
Ragged Robin 

Species which are difficult to germinate,
Red Bartsia
Yellow Agrimony 
Biting Stonecrop
Yellow Rattle
Meadowsweet
Hemp Agrimony
Hedge Woundwort

please note these were the perennial species, the annuals all grew but were used as a marker only and are not intended to persist..

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