Dublin City Council opens new Greenway route in Tolka Valley Park to mark Bike Week

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Dublin City Council marked National Bike Week by launching the Tolka Valley Greenway at 12pm today. The Greenway is a 4km off-road cycling and walking route which links Glasnevin, Cabra, Finglas and Ashtown.  It is part of a €4.1m, 18.2 hectare extension to Tolka Valley Park. It features wetlands, parklands and walkways and has almost doubled the size of Tolka Valley Park.


“Dublin City Council is opening the Tolka Valley Greenway as part of National Bike Week. It’s part of Dublin’s expanding network of cycle facilities. Facilities like this, the Grand Canal Way Cycle Route and dublinbikes have played a big part in growing cycle numbers in the city. The Greenway and this wonderful park are a great recreation area for locals and the wider community and are sure to draw people to the area” says Cllr Dr. Bill Tormey representing the Lord Mayor, who joined locals to cut a ribbon at 12 noon today to officially open the Tolka Valley Greenway.


Dr. Tormey was joined by members of the local community, elected officials and local schoolchildren for the launch. The children were from 5th and 6th class in St. Malachy’s and 1st class children from St. Oliver Plunkett’s. Both schools are on St. Helena’s Rd, Finglas. The school children also had an opportunity to ride a mini train and try out a special obstacle course which Dublin City Council provided for the day.


Tolka Valley is the latest addition to Dublin City Council’s network of ‘Greenway’ off-road cycle routes. The council launched the Grand Canal Way Cycle Route last year and this is now used by well over 2,000 cyclists on a typical working day. It has also attracted walkers, adding to the Grand Canal’s amenity value. Planning permission was granted this May for a 2km section of the 22km Sutton to Sandycove coastal route. Dublin City Council is also working on the development of future Greenways along the Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Tolka Valley and the River Dodder.


Notes to the editor – Tolka Valley Park – A Sustainable Park


As well as the Greenway Cycle Route, the extension to Tolka Valley Park features a range of sustainable initiatives:

  • New wetlands – as well as being a haven for fish and aquatic birds the wetlands were planted with reeds, bulrushes and yellow irises. These soak up pollution which improves the water quality and reduces water augmentation into the River Tolka
  • Native Planting – 23 species of native plants were used in the parks hedgerows. The park also has native wildflower meadows and invasive species like Giant Hogweed and Himalayan balsam are being controlled with new techniques
  • Fisheries – Atlantic Salmon made a stunning appearance in 2011. The first time in 100 years they were spotted in this section of the Tolka. This was thanks to work carried out by Dublin City Council and the Office of Public Works to lower the weirs. The park also has new spawning areas for fish designed in cooperation with inland Fisheries Ireland
  • Tolka Valley is the Irish Pilot for the EU Life Project called ‘Renew4GPP’. This uses biodegradable matting made from hemp to protect river banks from erosion and invasive weeds and allow native willow tree roots to grow. When the willows become established the matting breaks down into compost. This is an example for green public procurement by Dublin City Council.
  • Recycled seating – all seating in the park is made from recycled plastic
  • Bat friendly lighting – the angle of the public lighting in the park is set in a way that ensures it doesn’t interfere with bats’ navigation
  • Archaeology – the extension of the park didn’t interfere with the Cardiffsbridge Castle archaeology site and archaeological surveys were undertaken to ensure conservation
  •  Diverse wildlife – otters, bats, swans, kingfishers, salmon, trout, tree creepers and egrets are just some of the fauna in the park
  • New Native Tree Trail – The ninth in a Dublin City Council parkand part of the city’s expanding network of native tree trails