The Hook Lighthouse Visitor Experience is committed to the ethos of sustainable tourism and we strive to reduce any negative impact on the environment or local culture.
Our environmental strategy has included waste and energy reduction, We recycle all paper, cardboard, tin cans, aluminium cans, plastic, glass, electrical waste and clothes.
Increasing use of local producers and suppliers, for our café we source as many locally produced ingredients as possible, we also aim to avoid buying goods that are shrink-wrapped in plastic or cling film.
Reduction in the use of water and chemicals, we aim to use as little as possible and re-use as much as we can and promote businesses in the locality, here at hook Lighthouse we are part of a broad number of local and regional tourism initiatives which aim to cross-promote business and the Hook Peninsula area.
Area of Conservation
Hook Head is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC=EU Designation under the Habitats Directive) – under Irish & EU legislation. SACs are prime wildlife conservation areas in the country, considered to be important on a European as well as Irish level. Most Special Areas of Conservation
The Directive lists certain habitats and species that must be protected within SACs. Irish habitats include raised bogs, blanket bogs, turloughs, sand dunes, machair (flat sandy plains on the north and west coasts), heaths, lakes, rivers, woodlands, estuaries and sea inlets. The 25 Irish species which must be afforded protection include Salmon, Otter, Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Bottlenose Dolphin and Killarney Fern.
Wexford is a county rich in biodiversity. Habitat diversity includes reefs, sea caves, coastal dune systems, lagoons, lakes, rivers, grasslands, marshes, woodlands,
Geodiversity may be defined as “the natural range (diversity) of geological (rocks, minerals, fossils), geomorphological (landforms, processes) and soil features. It includes their assemblages, relationships, properties, interpretations and systems” (Gray 2004). Rocks, sediments and soils form the land on which we live and on which plants and animals thrive. Without rocks, no soil or nutrients can be created; without soil and nutrients, there is no starting point for plants and animals. Geomorphological processes, for example the effects of erosion and weathering, shape the landscape. Fluvial processes have created a diversity of river habitats and coastal processes are vital to the well-being of coastal biodiversity. Geodiversity underpins biodiversity since habitats have a geological foundation. If the geological foundation is not taken care of, biodiversity will suffer from it as it will be deprived from a vital supporting element.
Whales and Dolphins
This rare sighting of a humpback whale off Hook Head, in Co. Wexford, was captured by Padraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. Whale and Dolphin watching is a popular pastime on the Peninsula.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group monitor sightings of whales and dolphins around the coast. In 2010 there were reports of a number of Fin whales and a Humpback whale sited off the coast at Hook head. The whales made a welcome return to Hook head annually.
The majestic and rare sight of giant humpback whales exploding out of the water, Fin Whales breaching can been seen from the shoreline around Hook Head with a good pair of binoculars in the winter months as they arrive to feed on the huge shoals of herring.
Vegetated sea cliffs
egetated sea cliffs can be divided in to two categories: hard (or rocky) cliffs and soft (or sedimentary) cliffs. Hard cliffs are composed of rocks that are resistant to weathering and can be vertical or steeply sloping.
Vegetation tends to occur on ledges and in crevices or where a break in slope allows soil to accumulate. Soft cliffs tend to be less steep and more vegetated than hard cliffs, however, they are prone to slumping and landslides. Coastal cliffs provide important resting, roosting and nesting areas for sea birds. The faeces produced by the birds are rich in phosphorus and nitrogen which can influence the composition of the vegetation present. Vegetated sea cliffs display a widespread geographical distribution in Ireland, with a greater frequency of soft cliffs along the eastern seaboard.
Marine Life – Sponges
The sponge Tethyspira spinosa has a limited distribution in Ireland but occurs at two or more sites at Carnsore Point cSAC. This species is only known from the Saltees, Hook Head and Roaring Water Bay.