Dune-building plants for west Donegal beach

Public workshop and marram-grass planting at Carrickfinn

Staff Reporter

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Dune-building plans for west Donegal beach

A workshop next week will show the public how to transplant marram grass while a section of Carrickfinn dunes that has suffered from blowout will be replanted.

Marram grass, or ammophila arenaria, is the major dune-building plant in Ireland.

The workshop will be held at Carrickfinn on Friday, February 24th and is hosted by Donegal County Council in conjunction with An Taisce’s Blue Flag Initiative. As part of the workshop, a section of the Carrickfinn dunes that has been affected by sand blowout will be replanted. 

Local councillor, Cllr. Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, had raised the issue of coastal erosion at Braíd, Carrickfinn beach at meetings of the Glenties Municipal District.

“I would ask the public to support the marram grass planting on Friday the 24th and would ask for young and old to play a part in it,” Cllr. Mac Giolla Easbuig said. “It’s really important the community feels ownership and has input and are involved in protecting our beautiful coastline.”

The Office of Public Works has confirmed that a survey will be carried out this year on coastal erosion at the beach.

This sand-trapping marram grass can help dune systems maintain their positions, reduce blowouts and consolidate areas of loose sands. Next week's practical training workshop will develop skills around when and how to transplant, sources of supply, correct technique and spacing considerations. 

Arrival and registration is at 10am with tool talk and practical session at 10.15am. Marram-grass transplanting is at 12.30pm, followed by overview, evaluation and finish at 2.30pm.

Participants are asked to bring a packed lunch, a spade or trowel and strong scissors, and to wear clothing appropriate for the weather and sturdy boots.