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Rewilders reach peak of Lugnaquilla in tough conditions to support Snapshot Europe project

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ReWild Wicklow’s youngest and oldest climbers, Saoirse and John Alvey, at the summit of Lugnaquilla.

ReWild Wicklow’s youngest and oldest climbers, Saoirse and John Alvey, at the summit of Lugnaquilla.

Reach the Peak organisers, Maria O’Loughlin and Simon Alvey, descending from Lugnaquilla.

Reach the Peak organisers, Maria O’Loughlin and Simon Alvey, descending from Lugnaquilla.

The 21 participants at the top of Lugnaquilla.

The 21 participants at the top of Lugnaquilla.

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ReWild Wicklow’s youngest and oldest climbers, Saoirse and John Alvey, at the summit of Lugnaquilla.

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VOLUNTEERS from the community group ReWild Wicklow completed their Reach the Peak Challenge on Saturday as they climbed to the top of Lugnaquilla.

21 hardy souls faced the blustering weather, with international mountain leader Niall Ennis at the helm.

ReWild Wicklow Chairperson Danny Alvey said: “The weather was not what we hoped for, but that made the challenge all the more rewarding. We had a great range of volunteers who joined us on the day. They aged from 11 to 77 and we had one from as far away as New Zealand. We also had a member of the group, James Timmons, who only ten months ago broke his back, neck and two legs in a motorbike race accident. James had to use a wheelchair after that and learn to walk again through physio, so for him to get to the point of climbing a mountain today was very special for him.”

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The fundraising event was to raise funds for their Snapshot Europe project. This is an initiative that will see the most extensive camera trap monitoring of mammals in Ireland ever, happen right here in Wicklow, across September and October. Snapshot Europe began last year and just ten camera traps were deployed as Ireland's contribution to this Europe-wide report on mammals.

This year ReWild Wicklow are partnering with the UCD Wildlife Department to raise funds for as many camera traps as possible and their volunteers will deploy and monitor them.

“We’re delighted to have raised €3,500 of our €4,000 goal and there is still some time left if anyone would like to show their appreciation of our wet mountain warriors and donate at our GoFundMe page,” added Danny.

A full camera trap setup costs €218 and, as a special thank you, every fundraiser who reaches this target will get the opportunity to name it. Every image shared online and in the media will mention the name of the camera it was captured on. Local businesses, such as Jacksmill Forest Gardens, HUB13 in Newtownmountkennedy and Special Ops Adventures in Roundwood, have also got involved to sponsor and have a camera named after them and the group would welcome more businesses.

You can donate and find out more on their website at rewildwicklow.ie.


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