The Arklow Nature and Wildlife Reserve nestles beneath the North Coastal Walk on Arklow’s north shore. The small lake which forms the centrepiece of the reserve started life as a boating lake in 1958 and is affectionately known locally as ‘da duck pond’! Reeds have since reclaimed the lake and it’s now a wildlife sanctuary made up of several diverse habitats, home to many water bird species such as ducks, geese, swans, grebes, and gulls
There is a viewing deck on either side of the lake, which encourages visitors to view the birds up close. Three-spined Stickleback fish shelter in the reed, which also provides shelter and nest sites for the Moorhen and the Little Grebe and vital nesting material for the Mute Swan. The reed beds are also an essential habitat of the Reed Buntings which live among them throughout the year. Small wetland plants such as Bittersweet, Hedge Bindweed, Water Mint and Tufted Vetch grow on the north eastern bank. Yellow Flag Irises thrive beneath the canopy of broadleaf trees and Duckweed carpets the surfaces providing a refuge for the Common Frog and the Smooth Newt.
Around the Lake is a 2km trail suitable for walkers, family cycling and scooting. The area behind the raised west bank supports a very different kind of habitat. It is quite dry and the path runs through a copse of silver birch. Along this path you can veer off to The Arklow Bay Hotel and enjoy Afternoon Tea or a drink on the lawns that meet the edge of the walking trail. The adjacent Kynock’s Park and Coastal Walk are a nice addition to your ramble in this area. The Playground, Skatepark, Dementia Friendly Garden and Coral Leisure Centre and Pool are also adjacent.
Parking: Along the adjacent Seaview Avenue (free)
Public Toilets: Main Street Car Park – 15 minutes walk