We’re delighted to share a detailed vision document for the Avoca and Avonmore catchment, prepared by Dr. Tom Harrington and Faith Wilson under the direction of East Wicklow Rivers Trust.
The Avoca River is known for being one of Ireland’s most, if not the most, polluted river in Ireland. This is owing to acid mine drainage from the now decommissioned Avoca mine sites as well as historic industrial pollution around Arklow town. The latter has improved hugely, mainly because those industries have since ceased; the former still causes serious issues, although it has shown very small signs of heading in the right direction in recent years. This reputation is not entirely fair as the affected reaches of the Avoca system are limited to the lower 8-10km downstream of the White Bridge, above which is a catchment with incredible richness and diversity, where many heavily pressured species are re-colonising and thriving. Indeed, the headwater tributaries of the Avoca catchment retain some of our last remaining pristine river sites in Ireland, with much of the catchment attaining good status. The Vision for the Avoca-Avonmore Catchment project was born out of a desire within the East Wicklow River Trust to promote all that is good and healthy about the river, in tandem with developing a holistic plan for a future vision for the catchment that can be shared between all those who love it and exist within its environs. This study, which was completed by Dr Tom Harrington and Faith Wilson on behalf of the East Wicklow Rivers Trust, was funded by County Wicklow Partnership, Wicklow County Council and SSE Renewables. We hope you enjoy reading our vision and become a voice for the river.