Seal Rescue Ireland

Habitat Restoration

SealRescue Ireland is the sole organisation in Ireland responsible for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned seals around the entire coast of the Republic of Ireland. Over the past 10 years, we have been carefully recording as much data about the root causes of our seals needing to be rescued.

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Planting Trees

Why is Seal Rescue Ireland planting trees?

Over the past 10 years, we’ve recorded a correlation between poor water quality and a rise in illnesses that our patients present with. To address the root cause of this issue, SRI decided to take action and begin Native Habitat Restoration works. We started working with local farmers, fisheries, landowners, public bodies, community groups and registered foresters to plant 25,000 native Irish trees throughout the Ounavarra Catchment with the aim of protecting our fresh waterbodies, and regenerating resilient native Habitats to support thriving ecosystems. 

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At the end of 2023 we had planted over 33,700 trees and have won several awards for our project over the last three years!

Our Awards

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Best Community Initiative that Reduces the Impacts of Climate Change: Wexford County Council Environment Awards

2020

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Best in South-East Region for Waters and Communities Award

2020

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National Tidy Towns Competition: Judged by LAWPRO, Inland Fisheries and Waterways Ireland.

2021

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Best Community Initiative that Reduces the Impacts of Climate Change: Wexford County Council Environment Awards

2021

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The Top Five Benefits of our Restoration Project:

Restoration Sites

Our Habitat Restoration Sites

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Courtown Natural
Heritage Area

600

Wexford, Ireland

Beginning in 2019, we invited 300 members of the community to join us to plant 600 native trees in an area of Courtown Woods that was devastated by heavy machinery during the dredging of Courtown Harbour. It was an exciting vibrant day, with individuals, families and friend groups joining us for this immersive experience deep in the woods along the Ounavarra River. Three years on and many of the trees have become a rich, understory providing valuable habitat for wild life and an amazing amenity for the community. We look forward to seeing the Hazel fruit and hopefully getting a taste of their full flavour nuts… but of course, we’ll leave most of the treats for the local woodland creatures.

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Aughboy River Community Green Space

1,800

Wexford, Ireland

Following on from the success of our pilot project in Courtown Woods, we reached out to communities in our local area to see if they were interested in Habitat Restoration. We connected with an amazing group of families in River chapel, who helped us and other local volunteers to plant 1,800 native trees in their community green space, which runs parallel to the heavily impacted Aughboy River.Two years on and some of the trees are over 10ft tall with a plethora of biodiversity thriving around their feet! We will continue to monitor the benefits this project has for local biodiversity.

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Tara Glen
Biodiversity Boost

1,855

Wexford, Ireland

In 2019, we recognised that there was an opportunity to regenerate the Northern side of Courtown Woods.It is heavily planted in commercial Spruce, with some areas under protection by National Parks & Wildlife Service. We saw an opportunity to collaborate with Tara Glen Golf & CountryClub, to plant thousands of diverse native species into the unused areas of the golf course and associated silage fields. We planted 18 different native Irish species to provide forage and habitat for the wild creatures that live in the woods and around the golf course. We also worked with a private land owner to plant a few hundred trees in his field on Tara Hill.

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Ballinaclaire Dairy Enhancement

2,000

Wexford, Ireland

All our hard work has been leading to this opportunity to work on a dairy farm associated with the Ounavarra River. From the get-go, we have focused our efforts on low maintenance, high ecological impact regeneration and, although there are many hydro-morphological and urban pressures on the Ounavarra, the primary impact comes from agriculture. We’re developing and lobbying for a riparian regeneration model that incentives a feasible and resilient opportunity for landowners, communities and public bodies to connect and collectively restoreIreland’s waterbodies. Make sure to read more about our planning, implementation and engagement on this project.

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