Preserving Ireland’s Natural Beauty: Randal Plunkett, 21st Baron of Dunsany

Randal Plunkett.

Lord Dunsany’s rewilding project is the largest in Ireland. (Image: via Dunsany Nature Reserve)

Ireland is facing a significant challenge in the fight against climate change. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that an area the size of China must be restored in the next 10 years to prevent further destruction of our planet. Enter Randal Plunkett.

Randal Plunkett, the 21st Baron of Dunsany, is taking on this challenge and making a noble contribution to his home country by transforming his estate into a wildlife reserve. 

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A new baron with a noble cause

Randal Plunkett became the 21st Baron of Dunsany after the passing of his father, Edward, in 2011. After receiving his education in the U.S., England, and the Netherlands, Randal Plunkett decided to contribute to a noble cause and allowed nature to reclaim his Irish estate. As a result, the European Rewilding Network has approved this rewilding project, making it the only one of its kind in Ireland. 

Randal Plunkett, 21st Lord Dunsany at Dunsany Castle. (Image: Barry Cronin via Dunsany Nature Reserve))

A former steak-lover on a crusade for the environment

Randal Plunkett’s life has taken an unexpected turn. The 38-year-old vegan is now on a crusade for the environment for the past seven years. He has removed cattle and abandoned maintained lawns from his 750-acre property, and he is in the process of transforming it into a wildlife preserve filled with flora and animals. Although he still enjoys death metal, he has a ponytail and wears a leather jacket, his goals are to preserve nature. 

The change that nature brought

Randal Plunkett’s efforts have been successful, as his property has become a haven for animals. Pine martens, red deer, and otters can now be found in his estate. In addition, buzzards, peregrine falcons, sparrow hawks, red kites, kestrels, and woodpeckers have also made it their home. 

Ireland’s struggles with nature preservation

Despite its image as a green country, Ireland has had a poor environmental record. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 500 rivers and lakes had clear water in the 1980s, but only 20 are left today. In addition, in the last 20 years, wetlands have disappeared from around 250,000 hectares due to general agricultural pollution. 

An aerial view of the Dunsany Estate. (Image: via Dunsany Nature Reserve)

Randal Plunkett’s noble legacy

Plunkett has made a name for himself and his family with his noble contributions to climate change. He has joined the European Rewilding Network as their first Irish representative. His efforts have also been supported by Trinity College Dublin botanists, who have come to observe the changes that have been made on Randal Plunkett’s property. 

Randal Plunkett’s commitment to nature preservation

Although Randal Plunkett is creating a horror movie, he has no intention of leaving his estate. He has welcomed his daughter into the world with his fiancée, and they prefer to spend their time in the estate. He also hopes his daughter will eventually take over and keep the legacy of nature preservation alive. 

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