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Thurles Eye In Sky Unveils New Hidden Landscaping Of Thurles River Walk.

Pictured hereunder is the first published picture of the newly landscaped Thurles river walk stretching, sandwiched and running parallel between the west bank of the river Suir and the new proposed Lidl Supermarket Site.

Yes, it is nicely landscaped, with grass seed sown on both sides of a narrow, winding, tarmac pathway; reminiscent of the yellow brick road taken by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion in the musical fantasy film ‘The Wizard of Aus’.

From what we can see, a few, fast growing, short lived Alder trees have also been planted; each dotted here and there along this 130 metre stretch of the river bank.
Wire plastic coated fencing attached to wooden stakes, divides the Supermarket chain’s intended new premises from the public right-of-way river walkway.

“Beware, beware the hawthorn
Lest it strike you down
For if you take an axe to it
You’ll rue that you were born”

(Giles Watson)

All of the above, to my mind, ineffective changes come at the cost of one pair of Song Thrushes being made homeless; their nesting site and eggs destroyed.
Flowering Queen Anne’s Lace, Plaintain (Slánus), Bindweed, Cow Parsley, Hogweed, are just a few of the species all once sheltering beneath a 130 metre stretch of healthy Hawthorn trees (May Tree) were also annihilated to be replaced by sod all.

Alas, these Hawthorn trees were not obviously inhabited or protected by fairy folk, worse luck, as legend suggests, so gone for good are 130 metres of native spiny branches, whose flowers will no longer spread their heavenly sweet scent, on late May and June evenings.
Gone are 130 metres where normally honeybees, bumblebees and a great variety of insect species, flitted urgently, immersed in their intricate work of gathering nectar and pollen, thus making it an important part of our ecosystem, and at a time when land-based insects are rapidly disappearing.

The European Commission has clearly stated that there has been an alarming decline in pollinator species, with 10% of bees and butterflies nearing extinction. The loss of wild pollinators remains a cause for grave concern, because around 80% of crops depend, in part at least, on their ability to pollinate.

Here in Ireland, a third of our wild bee population is facing the threat of extinction; that’s according to the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford.

Gone are 130 metres of Hawthorn hedging, which each year offered a mass of red berries to birds, as their autumn and winter feed.

One law for the general public, another law for developers.

Under the terms of the Irish Wildlife Act, hedge-cutting is only permitted between September 1st and February 28th. This law aims to protect and maintain wildlife diversity by establishing areas where, in particular, birdlife can thrive during the nesting season. The law also prohibits the cutting, burning, grubbing or deliberate destruction of vegetation.

  • So who gave the developers of the Lidl site, in Thurles, permission to destroy biodiversity in this area?
  • Will they be sought out and prosecuted?
  • Will they be forced to replace the Hawthorn trees they ripped up?

Most likely not; but remember “What we do to the environment we ultimately do to ourselves as humans”.

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3 comments to Thurles Eye In Sky Unveils New Hidden Landscaping Of Thurles River Walk.

  • Pat.

    Well said George.

  • Chris

    That tarmac they laid doesn’t look that solid either. Then again the tarmac Thurles Town Council laid down in 2008 wasn’t any better in terms of quality. Whilst most people will be glad that “den” the alcoholics and drug users used is gone, surely they could have planted native trees, hedges etc. They are literally inviting vandals in with that fence.

  • Michael

    It is very true, one law for the general public, another law for developers.

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