LIFE Insular

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For project updates see our Coillte Nature News section

Sand dunes are beautiful natural places that are home to hundreds of plant and animals. What’s more, they help us by providing a recreational amenity, reducing the impacts of storms on the coast and giving refuge to pollinators.

LIFE Insular is an exciting new project which takes a collaborative approach to protecting and managing precious sand dune ecosystems. This is a joint project between Ireland and Spain which will work to protect and restore important biodiversity areas in partnership with interested groups. In Ireland the project is being managed as a collaboration between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Coillte Nature.

There are four Irish project locations:

  • The Raven Nature Reserve, Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Murvagh, Co. Donegal
  • Ards Forest Park, Co. Donegal
  • Rinclevan /Horn Head, Co. Donegal

Restoration works have started at the Raven Nature Reserve, see our printable info sheet here.


These project locations are not only areas of high biodiversity value and natural beauty, but they are also popular recreation sites for locals and visitors to the areas. Coillte Nature and NPWS will work together with local communities and scientific experts to develop long-term conservation management plans for these areas. The aim is to increase the biodiversity value and resilience of these ecosystems in the face of climate change and rising sea levels, while allowing future generations to enjoy these popular areas.

Sand dune ecosystems are sensitive and dynamic systems that change over time by the forces of nature. This five-year project will seek to learn about the history and ongoing value of the sites from local communities and also to raise public awareness about the relevance, natural values and ecosystem services provided by these dune ecosystems.

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