FitzSimon’s Wood Walking Loop
Topper visited Little Paws dog grooming parlour this morning. As we hurtled along Sandyford Road trying to keep up with Google, we spotted this obscure green space on the map that hadn’t caught our attention before, even though we pass by there every day. Freshly minted, though not for long it should be said, Topper led the way. What a treat we had in store!
We quickly lost ourselves in this abandoned oasis encroached by building development and the M50. It’s hard to tell if by design or neglect, but FitzSimon’s Wood is a mature woodland discreetly disguised in Dublin 16’s concrete jungle. Access is via an innocuous entrance leading off the estate, the pavement soon giving way to an overgrown path before bush-bashing briars and holly-hugging to beat the band. There’s a panoply of canopy once enveloped, an enchanting ancient woodland-cum-swamp in places. Ferns, bracken, mossy boulders and leaf mould underfoot, evergreens and deciduous trees is varying states of decay and regeneration, this land-bank is brimming in beautifully unkempt disarray. It’s a step back into a land that time forgot, on our doorstep. Is it Narnia? The ecosystem of this small unprepossessing, unreserved reserve is fascinating, all the more because of the unlikely location. It sticks out like a sore thumb, especially when pricked by holly and brambles, a bamboozle of biodiversity to stumble upon just when you’re not looking. It’s worth a look. Topper says its now one of his top-trumps!