A new trail through the Furry Glen provides opportunities to learn about the plants and wildlife of the Phoenix Park.
One of the largest urban walled parks in Europe, the Phoenix Park encompasses 1,752 acres. Originally created in 1662 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Duke of Ormond James Butler as a pheasant and deer hunting ground for visiting British aristocrats, it was opened to the public in 1745 by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield.
In the nineteenth century the park was redesigned by the British landscape architect of renown Decimus Burton, who over two decades improved the park with strategic tree planting, drainage schemes, realigning the park's roads and the restoration of the park wall.
Another chapter in the park’s history commenced today, with the inauguration of the Phoenix Park Nature Trail in the Furry Glen.
The first of its kind to be opened in the city of Dublin, it was developed in co-operation with the Dublin Naturalists Field Club and the Irish Wildbird Conservancy.
The trail takes an hour to complete and children from nearby schools were invited to an inaugural walk, launched by Henry Kenny, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance.
With twelve designated stops around the Furry Glen, the trail covers the flora and fauna of the park, and visitors may be fortunate enough to see some of the park’s fallow deer which roam freely around the park and are descended from the original seventeenth-century herd.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 June 1975. The reporter is George Devlin.