• New plan to develop a major park in Swords outlined

    Fingal County Council has confirmed its commitment to explore how best to deliver a new project that will create a vastly enhanced Ward River Valley Regional Park in Swords, as the population in the key town continues to grow rapidly and develops into well-designed county capital.

    The Council has outlined plans that will see an expansion of the park to some 80 hectares (200 acres) and create a space that will benefit all users on the doorstep of Fingal’s county town. The project will involve extensive consultation with the local community with the goal of developing an ambitious shared vision for the future.

    The project - led by the Parks & Green Infrastructure Division - aims to deliver a sustainable vision for the development of the park. Protection and enhancement of the existing heritage, ecology and biodiversity is a key element of the park’s future, along with developing new links within the park and with the wider area.

    The recent acquisition by Fingal of strategically located lands within the River Valley will help unlock the future potential of the park. The project will also identify current recreational needs and uses, providing a framework for development of the park from the present time into the future.

    Mayor of Fingal Howard Mahony said: “This is an exciting project that will not only help improve facilities, but also create a wonderful expanse for people to enjoy in the heart of Swords. In transforming the Ward River Valley into a place for leisure, recreation, sport and nature we want input and widespread engagement from the community so that we can realise the potential of the park as a major amenity to be celebrated.”

    AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal, said: “By investing in the revitalisation and expansion of Ward River Valley Regional Park we believe there will be many long-lasting benefits for people living in Swords and across Fingal. Along with the obvious benefits to the climate and the wellbeing of people making use of the facility, parks are also powerful tools for an improved urban landscape, and which can help drive local economies.

    “Importantly, delivery of this project will also mean we can provide residents and visitors an opportunity to connect with nature and it gives Swords a wonderful space for people we to play, enjoy picnics, take a leisurely stroll, ride a bike, go fishing or head out for a run.”

    Plans for the Ward River Valley Regional Park will dovetail with the Council’s ambitions as part of Sustainable Swords, which aims to facilitate an accessible, inviting public realm that links with the natural and historic context of the area. Sustainable Swords will also look to improve permeability, with green corridors around the town as well as those linking into the centre of Swords itself.

    An innovative consultation program is proposed to inform the public, encouraging people to have their say on the project. The first phase of public consultation will begin on Saturday 8th October with an interactive design workshop at Rivervalley Community Centre where the public will be invited to meet with the design team.

    Further details on the workshop and how to register interest in attending will be available shortly via the Council’s website and social media channels.