Ours to Protect

Ep 49 - Cleaning Up Nature

Ep 49 - Cleaning Up Nature

Orla visits the Commons, near Croghan Mountain on the Wexford-Wicklow border to find out how a community has brought an area that was once a dumping ground back to nature.

If you’re from the South East region in Ireland, you might be familiar with Croghan Mountain located in North Wexford. It is the 211th highest mountain in Ireland and is home to eleven 80 metre high wind turbines.

Croghan Barrack Community Project

Orla met Mary Graham who is the chairperson of Croghan Barrack Community Project on a day out and about to clear up a place called the Commons. The area has become an important part of the community with a beautiful stream, wildflowers, stone art, benches and tranquility in nature. But.. It wasn’t always like this.


“It’s based on the foot of the mountain. It’s a beautiful area and many hillwalkers pass by. The River Bann flows here. In 2012, during the “big snow” and what happened was a lot of debris and rubbish was uncovered.”

The Commons was used locally as a dumping ground for a long time before the area became a community pillar. Mary recalled seeing it for the first time and decided that something needed to be done. After an initial clean up, Mary took a visit to Wexford County Council to their Environmental department.

“I went in blind. I took my iPad down and had a little video with the birds singing, all of the rubbish that was unfolded and the sound of the birds singing. I had no appointment and was told that I wouldn’t get to see anyone. But I was met, I showed the video and it was decided that a committee needed to be set up to get funding to be recognised as a community project.”

The group were eventually granted money to improve the local area and the Croghan Barrack Community Project was established.


“There are grants available for communities doing work from Secad. We wouldn’t have what we have here without their support”, Mary told Orla.

What is Secad?

SECAD provides a range of innovative and effective rural development and social inclusion supports to motivate and empower local communities to create a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive society.

Their range of services enables our clients (renewable energy companies) and communities to develop long term, sustainable projects that serve the needs of each local community. We have developed a user-friendly on-line support and application system (individually branded for each investor), backed up by a highly professional and experienced team who can guide community volunteers through the process of developing applications or drawing down funds.


If you’d like to find out more about Secard or Croghan Barrack Community Project visit:




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