Flora and Fauna
The landscape of the park today largely resembles the Victorian design of the park commissioned by Lord Ardilaun in 1880. Found in the centre of the park is a formal area with a symmetrical pattern of paths and lawns; the centrepiece is two granite fountains. Situated around the central area of the park are numerous Victorian flower beds filled throughout the growing season with colourful displays of bedding plants, including tulips, geraniums, wallflowers, and petunias, amongst many others. A common feature of Victorian parks such as St Stephen’s Green are the herbaceous borders, found near the Leeson St gate, which are seen at their best from midsummer.
The lake is one of the most prominent features of the park, complete with waterfall and island. Trees and other plantings around the lake have now matured, softening the lakes appearance, and there is little evidence now to indicate that the lake was a constructed one. The lake provides a habitat to many different waterfowl including mallard duck, swans and moorhens, and numerous species of birds and fish. Other prominent features found in the park include the Bog Garden, the Garden for the Blind (containing a variety of aromatic shrubs and herbs with the labels in Braille), the Playground, and the Bandstand.
There are over 750 trees found in the park. The perimeter of the green is heavily planted with trees to shelter the park from the noise and air pollution emanating from the city. London plane is widely planted throughout the park, primarily because it is very tolerant of air pollution. Sycamores have a long tradition in the park having been the first trees planted back in the seventeenth century. There is a formal walk planted with lime trees on both sides of the path along the northern boundary of the park. Other trees widely found in the park include evergreen oak, birch, holly, weeping ash, hawthorn, and laurel.
The park is home to a large number of different types of birds, including waterbirds, birds of prey, and passerines. Some of the species found here are goldcrests, magpies, robins, and wrens. There are at least five types of birds living in St Stephen’s Green Park which are of conservation concern in Ireland. Three of these are from the gull family; the other two are the mute swan and the tufted duck.
- Hutchinson, Clive D. The Birds of Dublin and Wicklow (1975)
- Moriarty, Christopher. Exploring Dublin: Wildlife, Parks, Waterways (1997)
- Wyse Jackson, Peter and Sheehy Skeffington, Micheline. Flora of Inner Dublin (1984)
We are delighted to announce that St Stephen’s Green Park has won a Green Flag Award for 2015! The Green Flag Awards, administered by An Taisce in the Republic of Ireland, recognises and encourages the provision of good quality parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.
The Green Flag Award is a must for such an iconic space. The Green Flag is very important because it sets a high standard for all parks, and for everyone involved in maintenance and management to work towards. It sends a good message to the public as well as the team that we are achieving a high standard.
– Chief Park Superintendent Margaret Gormley