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Arts Project Riparian Trail with Artist Seoidin O'Sullivan. Working on hand drawn maps Image by Roisin ByrneArts Project Riparian Trail with Artist Seoidin O'Sullivan. Children's work exhibited in IMMA. We are planting acorns to leave a legacy of connection with the Joseph Bouys oak tree in IMMA. Image by Kevin HandArts Project Riparian Trail with Artist Seoidin O'Sullivan. Phase two of Riparian Trail. We meet with different expert stakeholders and actors to walk the river edge. Each of us bring a different viewpoint and understanding. Image by Kevin Hand

Seoidin O’Sullivan (Artist) and Roisin Byrne (Landscape Architect)

Project:  RIPARIAN TRAIL: River Mayne

Themes Include: The Commons, Margins, Action, Agency, Biosphere, Future, Youth, Growth, Education, Land, Derives, Trespass, Visits, Walking, Protection, Movements, Diversity, Friendship, Food, Nourishment, Earth, Open Space, Sea, Nature, Heritage, Folklore, Cultural, Tradition, Biosphere, Ecosystems and Environments

RIPARIAN: relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (such as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater

We initiated and developed the Riparian Trail art and landscape project in 2016. For that iteration of the project we focused on the river Mayne between Belmayne and Baldoyle Estuary. During that initial stage we conducted research, connected to interesting potential partners and did the initial mapping and ground work for the project.

Riparian Trail is a project that brings the practices of Landscape Architect, Roisin Byrne and Artist, Seoidín O’Sullivan together. We are looking out how we can make the River Mayne and its ecological potentials visible. We are doing this through a set of field explorations and river journeys. Each walk or exploration is attended by different people with different sets of expertise and different lens to walk with us along the river and share their knowledge and respond to the river. In sensitively mapping the river a whole ecosystem and place of connection and dislocation is discovered and revealed. The word Riparian sounds so much like ‘repair’ and this is something this river system our collective resource needs.

We imagine potential round table workshops to facilitate dreaming of what the Mayne rivers riparian trail may be.  Mapping experts potentially reveal invisible influences and affects on the river from the anthropomorphic to the ecological. Who has responsibility to our commons and our rivers? What role should developers be held to in contributing to and protecting ecological resources. Through this project we hope to bring collective attention to ways that communities can create agency and this can possibly be mapped for and used as a template for other Irish rivers. We want to advocate and develop a project that has at its heart the idea of collective care and responsibility to Ireland’s river systems. This river receives the effluent and water run off from Dublin Airport yet at its end is the Baldoyle Estuary an area that protects migratory birds and is a protected Eco Unesco site. The flight and migration through aeroplane, the flight and migration of bird.  How can we start to make connection and take collective responsibility for place, for commons, for rivers?

Social inclusion: possibility for participation through invitations to join us on the walk and interact with outcomes on the web platform. The project maybe considered the beginning of a long-term conversation on what may happen on a modest size place within Dublin and set a precedent process which considers citizen exploration and dreaming key in developing place.

“An engagement process may activate the place for generations to come, by connecting people to place. Being in a place, particularly which is wild, which we can question are we ‘trespassing’ or recreational users? Can we consider walking the wild lands a way to create a culture of care? This is now so important in our changing world affected by climate change. Presently Fingal people walk by the river or along the various paths. Out on the trail there is evidence of interventions, a plank of wood makes a bridge; a rope keeps a gate in place so the horses may not wander too far. The Mayne River is flagged as a connected route between Fingal and Dublin city council lands.” Roisin Byrne, Landscape Architect

We hope the project will contribute to how the Mayne river riparian trail may be sensitively developed in the long-term.


  1. Natura Impact Report for the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023

page 6 states that Baldoyle Bay is both a SAC + a SPA