Guidelines for a National Fen Survey of Ireland - Survey Manual

Foss, P.J. & Crushell, P. (2008) Guidelines for a National Fen Survey of Ireland. Survey Manual. Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland & Monaghan County Council.

Report cover

This National Fen Survey of Ireland Guidelines Manual outlines a methodology and structure for the survey of fens as part of the National Fen Survey (NFS) of Ireland, which is to be carried out on a county by county basis by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.а

The manual outlines the key objectives of the NFS, data recording requirements, and the structure of pre-survey, field survey and post-survey procedures. The manual provides a list of the deliverables expected from a completed NFS county survey. Appendices to the manual are divided into three groups, General Appendices; Survey Appendices (includes sample forms, field recording cards etc) and Results Appendices (includes a range of blank templates to be completed following the NFS).а

The manual also includes a list of deliverables and outlines data analyses that will be required on completion of all county surveys, so as to produce a national synthesis of all information collected on the Irish fen resource.а

The National Fen Survey of Ireland (NFS aims to undertake a systematic ecological survey of all known and as yet unsurveyed fen sites in Ireland.а

The aim of the NFS is to collect basic site and fen community information on sites in order to:а

•аааassess the distribution, quality, type and quantity of the Irish fen resource;а

•аprovide updated information on sites identified in the past as containing fen communities;

а•ааа locate and evaluate sites with a fen interest that have not yet been identified;

•ааgather data will alsoа be used as a baseline for any future national monitoring programme of fens;

•аprovide adequate site details in order to compare and evaluate sites for their conservation value on a national scale.

The survey aims to assess sites in the following priority sequence, based on their present conservation designation (or lack thereof):

•ааа Designated or proposed Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s)

•ааа Designated and proposed Natural Heritage Areas (NHA’s)

•ааа Sites with a potential fen interest previously reported to NPWS and recommended for survey and conservation assessment, with a view to their designation as NHA’s or SAC’s where considered appropriate based on survey findings.

•ааа Additional sites identified during the course of the NFS as potentially containing fen habitat (by either the proposed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Aerial photographic survey, or ground survey). а

The data gathered on fen sites from the National Fen Survey of Ireland will be used to select conservation worthy fen areas, namely Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) and sites of local conservation value. The data will alsoа be used as a baseline for a future national monitoring programme. Therefore, the procedure used to survey, assess and select sites needs to be standardised and consistent.а


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