The Rogerstown Nature Reserve is set within the inner Rogerstown estuary - a relatively small, narrow and extremely shallow estuary with extensive mudflats at low tide. The reserve was an area of reclaimed land used as grazing pasture, but is now being restored back to saltmarsh. The saltmarsh is inundated with sea water to varying degrees on a daily basis. It is during these times that the brackish grasslands and inter-tidal creeks are extremely important for birds, providing safe roosting sites for thousands of wintering wildfowl and waders. The soft mud flats, exposed during low tides, are their feeding areas. The winter time is when Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Redshank, Light-bellied Brent Geese, Shelduck, Wigeon and Teal are numerous. During the summer Lapwings breed and the surrounding trees are home to a variety of summer visitors, such as Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, especially within the Turvey Parklands, managed by Fingal County Council.
Arriving from Arctic Canada in October in numbers, Light-bellied Brent Geese feed on the saltmarsh and surrounding grasslands until well into the spring before making the long journey back to their Arctic breeding grounds.
Cold winters often see their arrival in large flocks, sometimes numbering thousands and often in the company of Lapwings. They fly in fairly tight formation with rapid, twinkling wingbeats uttering their plaintive short whistle call.
Breeding in small numbers, Lapwings can be seen ‘sky dancing’ over the marshes but in winter their numbers are boosted as thousands of birds can arrive to escape the cold weather from further afield.
Limited parking is available at the entrance along Baleally Lane for the North hide. A larger car park is available at the Turvey Parklands entrance along Turvey Avenue. There are marked walking trails; please keep to these trails for your own safety and to avoid disturbance to the wildlife. Please do not open gates or climb over fences and be aware that grazing animals are present at certain times of the year. If visiting the North hide please be aware that at high spring tides the access to and from the hide is restricted, therefore please remain in the hide until the tide recedes before attempting to leave. Please respect the wildlife and other visitors and refrain from bringing dogs onto the reserve, other than Guide dogs.
Opening times: The Rogerstown Reserve and the Turvey Parklands are open all year-round. The Frank McManus Hide in the Turvey Parkland is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm from September to March. The North hide is open year round.
Entrance charges: Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.
Facilities: Two raised observation hides overlooking the saltmarsh and estuary are connected by marked trails of either stoned surface, raised boardwalks or uneven grass surface. None of the hides are wheelchair accessible.
Information boards are provided at the main entrance gates to the Turvey Parklands.
Location: bounded by the towns of Lusk and Rush to the north, Donabate and Portrane to the south and the N1 to the west, in north Co. Dublin
Grid Ref: O 218 520