Croom Town Park Co. Limerick Biodiversity Action Plan 20222026

23 Sep 2022
Edel Fitzgerald By Edel Fitzgerald
Thanks to The Community Foundation for Ireland for funding provided under
the Environment and Nature Fund 2021 to allow the development of this
Biodiversity Action Plan for Croom Town Park.
I am grateful to Croom Community Development Association for the invitation to work with them on
this plan and for the hospitality they provided on the field visit day. I also wish to thank the Town Park
Gardening staff for helpful information on the management and history of the park. I wish to thank
Mr John O’Brien of Granagh, a regular visitor to Croom Town Park for providing me with
information about sightings of Otter he saw in the Maigue River. I wish to thank my sister Angela
O’Connell for assisting with the field survey of Croom Town Park and for helpful comments on this
Action Plan. Lastly, I wish to thank Patricia Ryan, CEO of the CCDA for reviewing the draft
document and suggesting valuable amendments. 

Executive Summary
The Croom Town Park Biodiversity Action Plan 2022-2026 is supported by the Community
Foundation for Ireland is an initiative of Croom Community Development Association (CCDA).
The purpose of this biodiversity plan is to help park managers look at the features that make up
Croom Town Park and make them better for biodiversity. For each park feature, there are
recommendations made to improve and enhance its biodiversity. In addition, there are suggestions
on how to create new habitats or features for wildlife. These biodiversity actions can easily be
added to management plans and carried out on the ground.
This biodiversity and conservation plan documents the species and habitat richness of Croom
Town Park.
A total of 96 species were identified in Croom Town Park during a biodiversity survey carried out on
the 3rd of May 2022. This included 76 plants, 12 birds and 8 animals. Two birds recorded in the
survey are of conservation concern: Grey Wagtail and Swallow. Otter is a protected species
recorded in the River Maigue.
10 habitats were identified during the survey and classified according to Fossitt Habitats of Ireland
(2000). These included: amenity grassland (GA2), scattered trees and parkland (WD5), treeline
(WL2), non-native shrub flower beds (WS3), scrub (WS1), buildings and artificial surfaces (BL3),
river (FW3), hedgerow (WL1), stonework (BL1) and horticultural vegetable plot (BC2).
27 biodiversity enhancement actions are proposed in this plan. The main thrust of the
recommendations is the enhancement of habitat, particularly wildflower meadow. The creation of a
buffer area of long grass around the entire perimeter of the park is a key recommendation as the
long grass habitat is totally absent from the park at present. This action can be implemented simply
by altering the mowing regime in the park. One area has been identified with potential to create a
wildflower meadow by planting annual and perennial seeds. There is ample information about
how to do this in the following resource from the National Biodiversity Data Centre: https://
In addition, the completion of treelines along paths by filling gaps left in previous planting actions
and the doubling up of the number of trees within the lines are recommended in the interests of
biodiversity. Leaving grass to grow, flower and set seed under planted trees to create a wildflower
meadow for pollinators is essential.
Habitat and biodiversity enhancement maps are presented for Croom Town Park.
The biodiversity actions can be achieved if CCDA packages them in themes and seek funding for a
suite of actions. Project examples might include increasing tree canopy area in the park through
planting trees and developing a native tree trail; a pollinator project that enhances biodiversity
through less mowing, planting bulbs and sowing wildflower seeds to create habitat and an invasive
species eradication programme.
To achieve these actions wider community engagement will be essential as the park is a much
loved amenity in Croom.
Two invasive plant species were recorded in Croom Town Park as part of this study. These were
Giant Hogweed and Cherry Laurel. These must be removed following best practice methods.

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