12 Feb 2017
Butterfly Conservation Ireland Opposes Barrow Blueway
Butterfly Conservation Ireland has learned that a spokesperson for Waterways Ireland claimed during a recent interview on Kildare FM Radio that Butterfly Conservation Ireland is happy with the plans that Waterways Ireland have for the Barrow River.
Butterfly Conservation Ireland is opposed to the plans for the Barrow. This stance was made clear during a radio interview with Kilkenny Carlow Local Radio 96FM on 19 January and in our press release issued the previous day. The press release can be seen on this website; see http://www.butterflyconservation.ie/wordpress/?p=5228. Butterfly Conservation Ireland’s opposition to Waterways Ireland’s plans was also expressed on 26 January at the Maynooth Biodiversity Planning meeting. Butterfly Conservation Ireland expressed its opposition to the Waterways Ireland plans when the Waterways Ireland spokesman present mentioned Waterways Ireland’s commitment to biodiversity.
In the event that any confusion remains over Butterfly Conservation Ireland’s stance on the proposed Barrow Blueway we reiterate that any unnecessary intervention that damages habitats for butterflies is opposed by Butterfly Conservation Ireland. Butterfly Conservation Ireland does not regard the installation of hard surfaces to replace the natural grassy tracks as necessary and is strongly against the proposed track. The Barrow towpath as it currently exists provides tranquil access to some of the most valuable habitats in the south-east of Ireland. The Barrow contains several habitats and species protected under European Union law. The Barrow is a Special Area of Conservation for various habitats and or species listed in Annex I and Annex II of the E.U. Habitats’ Directive. Woodland and herbaceous vegetation found at various points along the Barrow are extremely valuable and rich in species and must be afforded the highest levels of protection; some of these habitats are very scarce in Ireland. The aesthetic values of beauty, harmony and peace, often less measurable yet tangible, must also be defended.
The Barrow is probably the most beautiful waterway on this island. It deserves the protection needed so that it will continue to be a haven for wildlife and people. To this end Butterfly Conservation Ireland supports the maintenance of the Barrow towpath. Butterfly Conservation Ireland expects that its support for the maintenance of the Barrow Way as it is at present is represented correctly in the media.