Minister Joe O’Brien encourages Fingal residents to make their voices heard on conservation issues in their area

9th March, 2021

Public consultation launched as National Parks and Wildlife Service Review gets underway 

The Government has launched a public consultation as part of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Review, a key Green Party commitment in the Programme for Government.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service works to preserve and protect our Natural Heritage and the review will examine the Service’s role in nature conservation, biodiversity and the development, management and presentation of our National Parks, Nature Reserves and restored peatlands. The opening stage of the public consultation includes an online survey, which will be followed up with an invitation to give written submissions. Key stakeholders will be invited to participate in online interviews. The Terms of Reference have also been finalised and are available to view on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Minister Joe O’Brien welcomed the beginning of the long sought-for review, and encouraged Fingal residents to take part in the survey:

“We are fortunate in Fingal to be surrounded by areas of great natural beauty and biodiversity, several of which are considered special areas of conservation or special protection areas for which the NPWS has responsibilities. It is of great importance that we ensure these areas are maintained and protected for future generations, and I would strongly encourage members of the public to contribute their thoughts on how the NPWS’s review can work to better safeguard our area’s natural heritage.”

“The protection, conservation and restoration of our biodiversity is of paramount importance and this review is key to ensuring that the NPWS is properly resourced, staffed and equipped to lead Ireland’s response to the biodiversity emergency. More than ever before, there is a public demand for healthy nature – in our towns and cities, in our forests, bogs and agricultural landscapes, rivers, lakes and coastal waters and I want to encourage everyone with an interest in the future of the NPWS to get involved.”

“The pandemic has revealed the value and importance of public access to wild places in a new way. For many of us, myself included, spending time in nature has supported our physical and mental health – whether through rediscovering local heritage on walks within our 5kms, taking up new wildlife-spotting hobbies, or simply enjoying the fresh air and peace of the great outdoors.”

Notes for the editor:

  • The public consultation is accessible on the NPWS website at the following link: 
  • The Programme for Government 2020, ‘Our Shared Future’, set out a commitment to “review the remit, status and funding of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), to ensure that it is playing an effective role in delivering its overall mandate and enforcement role in the protection of wildlife.
  • NPWS manages Ireland’s nature conservation responsibilities under national and European law and international commitments. Its mandate is to protect, preserve and present our natural heritage.
  • The chair of the NPWS review is Prof. Jane Stout (Trinity College Dublin & Director of Natural Capital Ireland) and the facilitator of the stakeholder consultation is Dr. Micheál Ó Cinneide.
  • The survey form  for the stakeholder engagement strand of the Strategic Review  of NPWS has been published and is available now at the following link:
  • The review will be concluded during summer 2021 and a report will be published (see Terms of Reference on

Tags: Fingal