Multi-award-winning Powercourt Estate and Gardens
in County Wicklow has received a significant sustainable tourism accolade in light of the many sustainability initiatives which have been implemented on the Estate in recent years.
The stunning Palladian mansion set in 1,000 acres, which include 47 acres of landscaped gardens, is one of Ireland’s top attractions. It is the first major visitor attraction on the island to achieve the certification, which uses criteria that are recognised by the UN-mandated Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Over the last few years, it has put in place a number of sustainability measures including an integrated energy management system, a waste reduction plan, biodiversity rewilding initiatives such as wildflower meadows, a tree planting programme, and a bee sanctuary at the walled gardens.
A pioneering spirit has always existed for environmental and nature protection on Powerscourt Estate as it was originally purchased to create hydroelectric power at its waterfall, the highest one in Ireland.
The overarching mission at Powerscourt Estate is for it to be recognised on a global stage for its sustainability initiatives, and to be net zero by 2025.
Powerscourt is just one of many sustainable destinations that County Wicklow offers the eco-conscious traveller.
At Avondale Forest Park, a treetop walk stretching for 1.3km offers wonderful views over the Vale of Avoca, the Wicklow Mountains and beyond. Rising to 23m at its highest point and with interpretive points along the way describing the flora and fauna, Beyond the Trees Avondale
is an immersive experience. Sustainability is central to the experience with locally sourced Douglas fir and larch used for the treetop walk and viewing tower.
County Wicklow is also home to the nature haven of Glendalough
, famous for the important monastic settlement founded there in the sixth century. The remains of the site include an impressive round tower, churches and a graveyard sitting within a spectacular backdrop of mountains and shimmering lakes.
The stunning Wicklow Mountains National Park
offers scenic drives and numerous hiking trails through a gorgeous landscape. Visitors are encouraged to leave no trace to help preserve the biodiversity and pristine beauty of the area.
You can also enjoy a tour and tasting visit to Wicklow Way Wines
to discover how their Móinéir wines are made sustainably from the pure juice of Irish berries.