From Friday 17th – Monday 20th January we asked the public Bull Island: What’ s it to you? The street conversations were carried out with Dublin City Council Parks services. The purpose of this engagement was to gather public opinion and perception in relation to Bull Island.We asked what people think is special or unique about Bull Island, how it can be promoted more, how often do they visit and do they realise that Bull Island is internationally recognised as an important area for wildlife.
The information collected will feed into the formal review process of the North Bull Island UNESCO Biosphere conducted by Dublin City Council in 2013-2014. It may also feed into further on street engagements and targeted consultations with other stakeholders and in other locations around Dublin Bay.
We went to various locations around Dublin: Raheny ,Clontarf,Kilbarrack,Bull Island,St. Annes Park, O’Connell Street, we also meet with the Clontarf Business Association. Overall we spoke to 177 people age range 15-70.
Below is a snapshot of what people said.
The majority of the people we spoke to have a real connection to Bull Island and it brings up alot of Childhood memories for people. ” long hot summer days that we used to have, tayto crisps and miwadi orange, my grandparents on deck chairs, sandy sandwiches” , others had never been or they had not heard of Bull Island. People also realise the importance of Bull Island and they want it kept that way, “Good for conservation, great amenity and education”.
We also found that people visit Bull Island on a regular basis to go walking,running, swimming, bird watching. “It’s a couple of metres from my home. I go there regularly to walk, it’s lovely, breathtaking, magnificent views”.
People also felt that more should be done to highlight the importance of Bull Island and that Bull Island should be promoted as a destination this could be done through the schools ,advertising, tourism and events on the Island. Some felt that it should be left as it is , they liked that it was a “hidden gem in the City“, “I don’t think people who visit Dublin know about Bull Island, they go to Howth or out of the city if they want to go to the beach”, few people also mentioned the causeway as creating a problem by silting up the lagoon. “Knock the causeway down and put a bridge there, let the water flow through”
55% of the people we spoke to were aware that Bull Island is recognised as an important resource, very few respondents had heard of the Biosphere designation and 45% said they were not aware of any special recognition for the island.
*The Artwork featured was painted by a Parks intern