Dodder Action: Volunteers needed to help 're-wild' Whitestown Stream

By Mary Dennehy

DODDER Action volunteers continued with their efforts to ‘re-wild’ the Whitestown Stream last Saturday, cleaning the water and its banks for healthy wildlife and young people to inherit.

In recent weeks, a team of volunteers has focused on the Whitestown Stream in Tallaght, which is a tributary of the Dodder.

Dodder Action Whitestown 1

The Whitestown Stream after another clean by volunteers last Saturday, March 9 (Pic: Dodder Action) 

Working their way along the stream, which is an important wildlife corridor, volunteers have in recent weeks filled more than 120 large bags with rubbish and pulled around one tonne of loose waste from a short 100-metre stretch of the Tallaght stream.

Last Saturday’s haul (March 9) of 58 100-litre bags were filled with household waste, which included clothing, duvets, cushions, a mattress, dozens of plastic toys, plastic wrappers, nappies, filled medicine bottles and packets, tinned cans, glass bottles and rotting food.

A TV and building materials were also pulled from the water.

According to volunteer Wladek Gaj, who lives in Firhouse, volunteers found a lot of polystyrene packaging, which breaks up and is mistaken for food by fish and birds.

Wladek also noted that many items removed from the water are recyclable.

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Rubbish removed from Whitestown Stream on Saturday, March 9 (Pic: Dodder Action) 

On a positive note, volunteers did spot plenty of fish, an egret, herons and other local wildlife enjoying the cleaner and safer environment.

“As we cleared rubbish from the stream we noticed Minnows, these little fish play a vital role in the food chain”, Wladek said.

“The tree-lined half kilometre stretch of stream flowing through the industrial estate has all the ingredients for a healthy eco-system, the continued extradition of many years of waste from the stream can only be beneficial.”

However, Wladek stressed that there is still a lot of work to be done, with Dodder Action volunteers returning to the Whitestown Stream on Saturday, March 23, at 10am.

New volunteers are always welcome and needed to make safe the stream for local wildlife.

Wladek stressed that as they clean they are discovering more and more layers of waste, with members of the community invited to come on board and help out on March 23.

For further details visit the Dodder Action Facebook page

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