ONE of Dublin's most picturesque seaside locations and nature reserves is to be revamped for tourists.
Council chiefs are considering a major redevelopment of Bull Island, just off Dollymount Strand in Clontarf.
A council report, obtained by the Herald, details plans to develop a visitor centre to boost tourism and create local jobs.
The plans, which are at an early stage, centre on the development of Bull Island as a biosphere reserve.
These are sites that are recognised internationally for their management and promotion of local nature.
Bull Island was declared a bird sanctuary in the 1930s and a nature reserve in 1988.
It boasts almost 200 bird species and 300 different plants.
It is hoped that a special steering group – made up of academic and marine experts – will be set up to the development the project.
It is also intended that St Anne's golf club on the north Dublin beauty spot be requested to be part of a working group.
A feasibility study is being prepared to assess the potential for increasing visitor numbers to the island.
Bull Island is generally unspoiled and is a popular spot for swimmers, dog walkers and sport and nature enthusiasts.
The plans devised by city officials mention the potential for "promoting Dublin's green credentials" and holding a "biosphere festival".
Issues such as car parking, dog control and beach showers have been highlighted as potential challenges.
Local independent councillor Damian O'Farrell said he believes the plans have the potential to deliver a major economic boost to Clontarf.
"Quite clearly a lot of work is being done behind the scenes by city council officials and experts in order to turn this idea into a reality," he said.
"Bull Island holds a special place in the hearts of residents here.
"I'm sure the community would rally behind the prospect of boosting tourism, developing a visitors' site and particularly anything that will generate jobs," he added.
"I look forward to being involved in what looks to be a very special project in the pipeline."