Castle Leslie Rewilding Project
Castle Leslie Estate in Glaslough, north County Monaghan, is the setting for an ambitious rewilding project, which is the first of its kind in Ireland. Rewilding is a relatively new concept, with various projects happening across the world, including Yellowstone National Park in the USA and Knepp Castle in West Sussex, England.
The aim at Castle Leslie is to enhance and extend existing ecological habitats and increase biodiversity across the 1,000-acre estate. This will be achieved by using a range of methods, including some of those implemented at Knepp – e.g. managed grazing by introducing heritage breeds of livestock, tackling invasive species, allowing natural scrub and woodland encroachment, and monitoring flora and fauna and the interaction between species. In many cases, there will be very little human intervention at all, with the preference being a ‘wait-and-see’ approach! However, the overall project will involve ongoing detailed assessments, studies and numerous trials over the proceeding decades to figure out the optimum environment for nature to thrive in.
Flynn Furney Consultants are delighted to be involved in this exciting initiative. Throughout summer 2021, we conducted the initial baseline studies across the entire estate for gathering information on woodland types, ground vegetation, soils, birds, mammals and insects, which will inform the overall project going forward. We have also been working with other experienced consultants during this period, including Ecosulis (Rewilding and Nature Recovery Experts), who have worked on a wide range of rewilding, biodiversity and nature planning projects across the UK. We look forward to being part of the ongoing Castle Leslie rewilding initiative and becoming involved in other exciting, similar projects around Ireland!