CRA: North Bull Island Action Plan | Dogs on Bull Island

20 May 2020

Dublin City Council (DCC) have released their Action Plan 2020-2025 for Bull Island. It covers many topics – wildlife, invasive species, the proposed new Discovery Centre, vehicle access, beach cleaning, recreational usage and disturbance. The full plan can be viewed by clicking the red button below.

Bull Island Action Plan 2020 - 2025

Bull Island is a uniquely sensitive environment. It is important that it remains protected from damage through recreational use. It is equally important that it remains open to the local and wider communities who use it. As with most things, we need to achieve a balance between competing objectives.

Over the coming days we intend posting a short piece on aspects of the Action Plan, starting today with Dogs on Bull Island. As always, we would welcome your feedback to

Dogs on Bull Island

A number of studies on the impact of various recreational activities were undertaken in developing this Plan. The evidence from these studies is that “The single most important issue in relation to the disturbance of wildlife is the control of dogs.”

The Plan goes on to say that “It is not the presence of dogs per se, rather it is the impact of dogs off-leash and access to sensitive habitats which is the key issue.”

The rule at present is that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times on the island. DCC has said that trying to enforce this rule has proven futile.

The new plan proposes that dogs will be allowed  off-leash (green area) on the beach from the Bull Wall to the first link to Causeway Road (outside of the bathing season June, July and August)
on-leash (blue area) in the dunes and on the beach from Causeway Road to the end of St Anne’s Golf Club.

Dogs and people will not be allowed (red area) on the salt-marshes or from the end of St Anne’s Golf Club to the end of the island. The report states that these areas of the island are the most sensitive for wildlife.

The image below shows the respective zones.

We would welcome your views on these proposed changes to