North Bull Island
North Bull Island is a national nature reserve in Dublin Bay on the Northside of Dublin. A haven for both local and visiting wildlife the area has several nature conservation designations for the habitats and species it supports, it's designated as a special amenity area for its aesthetic and recreational value and is an integral part of the Dublin Bay Biosphere.
There are plenty of dunes and grasslands for walkers and birdwatchers to explore while the breezy beaches provide the perfect conditions for kitesurfers.
To find out more on the seaweeds that can be seen on North Bull Island’s seaweeds, check out our poster:
Some parks with a large number of gates will start to close half an hour before the above times to allow enough time for all gates to be closed at the designated hour.
Bull Island is man-made. It was created 200 years ago when the North Bull Wall was constructed. It continues to grow seaward, a rare natural occurrence in Ireland. It is now 5 km in length and 1 km wide; and covers an area nearly 15 km² in size, including both land and seashore.
In the 1930's Bull Island became the country's first official bird sanctuary and in 1981 it achieved UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status.
The causeway to the Island was built in 1962 to 1964 as more people started arriving by car. Earlier, the Howth Tram used to bring Dubliners to Dollymount Strand Beach.
North Bull Island is nestled along the northern edge of Dublin Bay. It is a low-lying sandy spit, with Dollymount Strand on the seaward side of the island, and salt marsh fringing its mainland side. Between the island and the mainland are intertidal mud and sandflats. An extraordinary wealth of wildlife live, breed and eat on Bull Island. The island is home at various times of the year to 8,000 wild fowl and 26,000 waders, 180 different bird species and 300 species of plants.
The island supports nine habitats and a range of species protected under the EU Habitats Directive, including petalwort (a species of liverwort), marsh fritillary butterfly, harbour and grey seals, and at least three species of bat, including common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, and leisler’s. The island also supports three moss species, bryum intermedium, bryum uliginosum, and bryum warneum and one species of plant, lesser centaury, which are legally-protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Service Flora Protection Order.
A range of wildfowl and wading birds protected under the EU Birds Directive spend the winter on North Bull Island, these birds migrate to the island every year from as far away as Canada and Africa. Three species regularly occur in numbers that are considered internationally important: light-bellied brent goose, black-tailed godwit and bar-tailed godwit. Fourteen other species regularly occur in nationally important numbers: shelduck, teal, pintail, shoveler, oystercatcher, grey plover, golden plover, knot, sanderling, dunlin, curlew, redshank, turnstone and black-headed gull. The island also supports significant numbers of birds during the summer.
- Beach Volleyball Area
- National Nature Reserve
- Visitors Centre
If you have mobility restrictions you can avail of the free beach wheelchair service on Dollymount Strand on North Bull Island. These wheelchairs will give you enhanced access the beach and strand.
There are two types of chair are available; DeBug Beach Wheelchair and Hippocampe Beach Wheelchair.
When are the wheelchairs available?
- Between the hours of 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week during the bathing season 1st June - 15th September
- Chairs can be booked in slots of up to 2 hours and possibly longer depending on bookings
How do I book a wheelchair?
The service is free of charge, but must be booked in advance by email, please see contact details below
Are there any terms and conditions?
- You must fill in a waiver form, available at the interpretive centre on North Bull Island, before using the service
- You must present valid photo I.D. and proof of address when collecting the chair
- Chair users must have a helper in attendance as staff or lifeguards are not in a position to help the user either into or out of the wheelchair.
For further information or to book a beach wheel chair please contact [email protected]