County Leitrim Wetland Survey Report Published

LEWS2019 ReportImage

The results of a 2019 survey of wetlands in County Leitrim commissioned by Leitrim County Council and undertaken by ecologists with Wetland Surveys Ireland has been published. The survey aimed to identify all wetland areas in the county to better inform land use planning and sustainable development strategies for the county.

Wetlands can be defined as areas of land that are wet enough for long enough to support a variety of plants and animals that are specially adapted to wet conditions. These wetland areas include a wide range of wildlife habitats such as bogs, marshes, swamps, wet woodlands, lakes, ponds, salt-marshes, estuaries, and coastal lagoons.

Wetlands are important for biodiversity by supporting a wide range of specialist plant and animal species. In addition, wetlands provide important ecosystem services such as flood prevention, provision of clean water, and carbon storage. Despite the known importance of wetlands, they continue to be threatened and damaged from activities such as drainage and infilling.

By carrying out a review of digital maps and previous studies the Leitrim Wetland Survey focused on the identification of 38 wetland habitat types occurring within 388 potential sites in the county. As part of the study, information on these sites has been collated into a single digital wetland map of the county.

Dr Patrick Crushell, an ecologist with Wetland Surveys Ireland who worked on the project stated that “the Leitrim wetland map should provide a very useful resource and can be used to inform land-use planning to ensure the future sustainable use of the county’s wetlands”.

The report highlights the absence of detailed information on 269 sites and the need for targeted field surveys to gain a better understanding of the wetland resource within the county and to ensure that those sites of highest importance are protected. 

The County Leitrim Wetland Survey 2019 was made possible through the financial support of Leitrim County Council and The Heritage Council. 

The County Leitrim Wetland Survey is an action of the County Leitrim Heritage Plan 2003-2008. The report is available from Sarah Malone, Heritage Officer, Leitrim County Council. 


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