Booterstown Marsh – A unique Dublin Bay wetland

Booterstown Nature Reserve lies right at the heart of Dublin Bay. This unique wetland is the last remaining salt marsh on the south shore of Dublin and is an extremely important feeding and roosting site for several different species of birds and as well as being home to 68 protected plant species.


Booterstown Nature Reserve A unique home to many protected species

The marshland was once much larger, running from Merrion Strand down as far as Blackrock. During the 19th century, the building of the Dublin to Kingstown railway and other building works meant much of the marsh land was filled in. Now however, what remains is an incredibly important around 4 hectares of habitat for protected birds and plant life.

Little Egret on Booterstown Marsh. Picture by Colum Clarke.

Little Egret on Booterstown Marsh Picture by Colum Clarke.

An Taisce has managed the reserve since 1970’s protecting and conserving this precious habitat and also using it to educate the public.

Throughout the year a wide number of birds can be spotted including Moorhen, Teal, Mallard, Snipe, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Kingfisher, Little Egrets and Brent Geese.

Flock of Brent Geese fly over the marsh. Photo:

Flock of Brent Geese fly over the marsh Photo: Colum Clarke

The reserve is also an invaluable a refuelling and resting spot for migrating birds including several long-distance migratory species like Brent Geese. In 2006 two small low-lying islands were constructed and placed in the middle of the marsh to provide an area for the birds to rest and to roost.

It’s important that we safeguard this vulnerable place for wildlife to survive and thrive.

Swanning around! #booterstown #swans

A photo posted by Coast Monkey (@coast_monkey) on

As recently as last November, planning permission was refused for a major new leisure centre in an area immediately beside the marsh because of its potential environmental impact on EU protected habitats.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22