We're all about the birds & the bees!
Environmental sustainability has been a central focus for the entire Croke Park team for over ten years. While waste, water and energy projects were the start of our sustainability journey, it has extended into areas such as biodiversity over the years.
A family of ravens nest successfully behind the stadium's big screen in the Davin Stand.
Our biodiversity programme started in 2015 and we now have a stadium wide ‘Mitigation & Creation’ policy to ensure all building projects replace any affected habitats.
Our Bug Hotel has been open since 2015 offering a habitat within the Cusack Stand for insects and pollinators who can find it difficult to locate places to nest and hibernate in our urban area.
This has led to extensive planting of native trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as the installation of bird and swift boxes throughout the stadium.
We’ve installed swift boxes in the new Handball Centre beside the stadium. The number of swifts in Ireland has fallen by nearly 40% in the past 10 years. The new boxes will help boost our local swift population.
In 2018, we purchased a farm in North County Dublin to grow turf for pitch maintenance. This has benefited turf quality and reduced carbon emissions that are associated with the importation of turf from abroad.
On the farm, we’ve been working with local beekeepers from Fingal Super Foods on introducing beehives since 2018.
Honey bees play a crucial role in the global eco-system to the point that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination by honey bees. They have, however, become an endangered and threatened species, and we are conscious of the part we can play here to nurture and protect them on the farm.
Also located on the farm is our polytunnel where Croke Park's executive chef Ruairi Boyce takes great pride in growing a range of herbs and vegetables including cauliflower, aubergines, courgettes and rosemary.
Croke Park also collaborates with artisan cheese producer Bluebell Falls to produce a limited edition goats cheese flavoured with Croke Park farm-grown herbs.
Anyone arriving at the stadium on the Cusack side in the coming months will be delighted to see the beautiful new landscaped area of the carpark opposite the GAA handball centre. Local resident and member of the Croke Park community team Aonghus O’Briain, is a very talented landscape gardener and has recently worked his green-fingered magic on several spaces across the stadium and our local community area. Not only does Aonghus work with native Irish plants, trees, and flowers; he also picks species that provide an ideal habitat for multiple species of birds and insects throughout the year.
To mark World Earth Day 2021, the GAA announced that it had signed up as an official partner organisation of the new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025.The Pollinator-Friendly Guidance for Sports Clubs is free to download from https://pollinators.ie/sports-clubs/