The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will keep buying land to expand and add to its existing seven national parks, according to Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan.
“We do look around the country where land is available for sale, which has a high nature value, or it could extend our national parks, our nature reserves,” he said, following the State’s purchase of the 552ac land formerly owned by Devenish at Dowth, Co Meath.
The minister said that such investment in new land for national parks has been ramped up in recent years, due to the additional resources provided for the NPWS in capital resources and staffing.
“That helps the State’s involvement and acquisition of more land to work towards nature conservation.
“Certainly, we would like to continue that ambition. I think it’s hugely important for the State’s involvement in nature restoration and conservation,” he said.
Minister Noonan highlighted that Ireland has a “big challenge with nature restoration over the coming years”, and said that the State’s acquisition of more land for nature supports these goals.
“We need to reconnect our habitats and have a connectiveness to them, but also to restore them. Being custodians of them, and the State being able to purchase them, gives us fantastic opportunity to do that,” he added.