Action needed to protect Limerick city wetlands

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Cllr Sharon Benson at the Westfield Wetlands which have become overgrown with rushes.

LIMERICK City and County Council have been urged to address the overgrowth and “apparent neglect” at Westfields Wetlands on the North Circular Road.

Sinn Féin councillor Sharon Benson expressed disappointment to the Limerick Post that promised works have not been completed.

“These wetlands were once a thriving habitat for birds and other wildlife. Due to years of apparent neglect the Westfields Wetlands have become overgrown to the point where the water is no longer visible,” she said.

“In 2020, Limerick City and County Council presented councillors with a management plan for this wetland site. It outlined a number steps that were to be taken, including reed removal, so that the area could be preserved and enhanced for the benefit of the wildlife and the pleasure of the local community.”

After visiting the site last week, the City North representative hit out at the lack of work carried out at the city beauty spot to date.

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“The reeds have grown to such an extent that the water is no longer visible. What once was a popular attractive local amenity has been allowed to fall into a state of neglect.

“The Council need to clarify what, if any, works have taken place since 2020 and a review of the management plan needs to be completed in earnest,” Cllr Benson added.

She also commented that in other parts of the country, wetlands have been constructed, while in Limerick, Westfields has been allowed fall into disrepair.

“Limerick Council have, rightfully, been investing in new green and blue infrastructure over the last number of years. Appreciating the Council’s commitment to the environment, it is a great shame that such a natural attraction has not been protected.”

In response, Limerick City and County Council said that a masterplan for Westfields Wetlands is being finalised at present.  The Council hope to bring it to the Climate Action, Biodiversity and Environment Strategic Policy Committee before the end of this year.

“Notwithstanding this, the Parks and Recreation Department is looking at engage contractors to carry out the removal of reeds in accordance with the recommendations of the draft Masterplan this year.”