Donadea Forest Park
Location: Donadea Forest Park is located 8km south of Kilcock on the R407 to Naas and is also accessible via the R407 about 13km north of Naas on the Kilcock road. It can be found on discovery map number 49, grid reference N-838 332.
Facilities: Donadea Forest Park has a car park, café shop, picnic site, toilet and a variety of forest walks.
EVENTS: For information about Santa at Donadea Forest Park, Dec. 2008
Please click here
Opening times: The park is open daily at 8.00am to 9.30pm (summer) and 5.30pm (winter)
Admission charges are as follows:
Admission: Daily pass - €4 (correct change required, €2, €1 & 50c coins accepted only)
Season pass €30 (available in park café or phone 057-8621617)
(Please note the Season Pass runs from January-December)
History: Donadea originally belonged to the Bermingham family and it passed into the hands of the Aylmers in the first half of the 16th century. The ruin is an accumulation of rebuilding over the centuries and is a fascinating succession from a Norman keep, which can be readily distinguished, to a 1624 house, a 1775 reconstruction and a further reconstruction when the wings were enclosed in the 1830s. The last of the line of Donadea Aylmers died in 1935.
Habitat: The Park is situated in the lush pasture lands of Kildare and is fairly typical of a demesne landscape, comprising of mixed woodland.
Forest Walks: The Nature Trail is less than 2.5km long and winds through the various natural and man-made elements that make up Donadea. There is also the short Shrubbery Trail - only 300 meters long - which has been laid through the collection of trees and shrubs planted in the last century.
Forest walks include:
- Lake Walk - 0.8km in length around the lake and is wheelchair accessible.
- Aylmer Walk - 5km in length winding along forest roads and paths, incorporating Lime tree Avenue
and finishing at the lake. It also walks past the 9/11 Memorial.
- Aylmer Sli na Slainte walk.
Tree Species: There is a magnificent grove of beech, approximately 150 years old, which covers an area of 1 hectare. Other broadleaved species include young oak - planted in 1938 and common ash. Sitka spruce, grand fir and Norway spruce are also present. The Shrubbery Trail has holm oak, horse chestnut, copper beech, silver birch, larch, hazel, yew, Lawson cypress and monkey puzzle.
Biodiversity: Flora - Along the walls, the ivy-leaved toadflax, maidenhair spleenworth and hart's tongue fern can be observed. The muddy bottom of the shallow lake provides an ideal habitat for aquatic plants. Pond weed is abundant while reed mace is prominent in the shallow waters. The large-leaved yellow water lily can also be seen.
Fauna - In Donadea Woods both the red and grey squirrel can be seen. On the lake our most common duck, the mallard, is present all year round. Coots and moorhens can also be seen. The mute swan is an occasional visitor.