Proposal mooted to safeguard Donadea

There has been a proposal to safeguard the future of Donade Forest Park as a place of public recreation.

There has been a proposal to safeguard the future of Donade Forest Park as a place of public recreation.

Local TD Emmet Stagg has proposed that it be moved from the ownership of Coilte to the Office of Public Works.

There have been fears that with the park, or the forest within it would be sold to private investors interested in harvesting the wood.

This followed confirmation by the Government that it was considering selling some Coillte assets - although this specifically does not include land.

There was relief last May when the Minster of State Shane McEntee committed to ensuring continued public access to lands owned by Coilte.

Donadea Forest Park is in north-west Kildare between the villages of Prosperous, Staplestown and Newtown.

It comprises of 640 acres and included nature trails, forest walks and a lake. Historical features included the remains of Donadea Castle, Walled Gardens, a church, Tower, Ice House, Boat House and a fine Lime Tree Avenue.

It was built and owned by the Aylmer family, significant landlords in the Kildare area in the past.

Over 150,000 people visit Donadea forest park per year – mostly from the this and surrounding counties and many as tourists coming into Ireland.

The forestry provides employment, timber and supports the broader agricultural economy by supporting wildlife.