Take the County Monaghan Wetland Tour

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The new online story map forms part of the County Monaghan Heritage Series publication “Monaghan’s Wonderful Wetland” being launched today. The County Monaghan Wetland Tour is an initiative of the Heritage Office, Monaghan County Council.а

The wetland locations shown in this interactive online tour are sites in Co. Monaghan open to public that have various facilities including parking, paths, fishing stands (may require license), information signs, longer walking routes or a visitor centre.а

The story map brings you on an informative tour of 23 wetlands around Monaghan where you can learn more about these fascinating habitats. These sites have a variety of visitor facilities including parking, paths, boardwalks, exhibitions and information signs, that will help you enjoy a visit to these magical places, and learn more about wetlands and their value to people and wildlife. The map is based on a selection of wetlands shown on the Map of Irish Wetlands.а

The story map includes map location information, a brief summary of what you can discover at the sites, a summary of facilities at each location, and a link to further information, opening times and more.

To access the story map go to the link shown below:

@MonaghanHeritageForum @TheHeritageCouncil #MapofIrishWetlands

Celebrating Irish Wetlands on World Wetlands Day


аEach year on the 2nd February many, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have acted to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention which was signed in 1971.

National and local community organisations throughout Ireland participate by organising a host of different events throughout the country as part of #World Wetlands Day.

Even if you cannot make it to one of the organised events in person on World Wetlands Day, you can still ‘remotely visit’ and learn more about Ireland’s great wetland wealth by taking one of the story map tours that Wetland Surveys Ireland and Foss Environmental Consulting have prepared.

Wetlands to visit around Ireland
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Ramsar Wetlands in the Republic of Ireland
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Bohernabreena and the Glenasmole Valley Tour
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The Raised Bogs of Ireland
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Ireland’s Fabulous Fens
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The Raised Bogs of Ireland story map launched

25 October 2018

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TheаMap of Irish Wetlandsаteam have created an exciting new on-line story mapа‘The Raised Bogs of Ireland'аto help you find out more about the most important conservation worthy peatlands around the country. Ireland has a high proportion of the total EU resource of raised bog (over 50%) and so has a special responsibility for their conservation at an international level.

The story map brings you on an informative tour of 53 raised bog Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and the 75 raised bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) where you can learn more about these fascinating peatland habitats. The story map includes and introduction to the SAC and NHA raised bog network, map location information for these raised bogs; the designated site boundary; a brief summary of the habitat and species of interest on the site; restoration work which has been undertaken on the sites under EU LIFE projects; and NPWS site code. The raised bogs which are open to the public and include information signs and a boardwalk are also highlighted.а

Included on the new raised bog story map are peatlands such as Clara Bog, Girley Bog, Scohaboy Bog, Carn Park Bog, Cloonshanville Bog, all of which have visitor access, together with the other sites being conserved throughout the country.

The story map is based on a selection of sites included in the Map of Irish Wetlands. The Map of Irish Wetlands has been created by Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell and shows the location of more than 12,700 wetland sites in Ireland.

According to Peter Foss “The raised bog story map was developed to highlight the occurrence and value of raised bogs throughout the country, increase awareness amongst the general public of these fascinating wild wetland habitats, and bring information relating to our raised bogs into a single easily accessible resource”.

The Map of Irish Wetlands and the Raised Bogs of Ireland story map have been developed and made available to the public free of charge without the assistance of any public funding.

Link to The Raised Bogs of Ireland story map:



Biodiversity on your doorstep


Wetland Surveys Ireland were delighted to present a talk and lead a well attended walk as part of Heritage Week along the River Laune and the reed bed and wet woodland areas within the Astellas grounds in Killorglin, Co. Kerry earlier in the week.а

A presentation on the value of wetlands was given by Dr. Patrick Crushell, who was assisted during the evening walk by Dr Mary Catherine Gallagher from WSI. As part of the event Astellas Ireland sponsored the production of a leaflet entitled ‘Biodiversity on your doorstep’ which provided information to participants on the wetland habitats and wildlife found along the walk route, which is part of the Castlemaine Harbour SAC.


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New €10 million project to reward farmers for environmental enhancement in priority river catchments

Pearl Mussels Launch

Wetland Surveys Ireland, a Kerry based environmental consultancy together with a team of expert advisors, have been appointed to administer the 'Pearl Mussel Project', a new €10 million locally led scheme for farmers. The overall aim of the project is to reward farmers for improving the local environment with a view to ensuring the long term survival of freshwater pearl mussels in Ireland. The scheme will be open to farmers across eight priority catchments in counties Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo, and Donegal.

Freshwater pearl mussels are a large species of mussel that occur in very clean streams, rivers, and occasionally lakes. They are Ireland’s longest-living animal with lifespans of over 120 years being recorded. Despite large numbers remaining in some rivers, they have declined dramatically in the last century and are currently on the verge of extinction due to the fact that no young mussels are surviving to adulthood in many rivers. The eight priority rivers in the scheme are known to support the largest remaining populations of the legally protected mussel in Ireland.

The Pearl Mussel Project will work closely with local farmers in each area providing them with an opportunity to be recognized and financially rewarded for delivering environmental benefits. Dr Patrick Crushell, Project Manager, stated “We aim to develop a scheme that is attractive to farmers by rewarding them for improving the local environment. Enhancing farmland habitats within the catchments will have a positive influence on the river and in turn the endangered freshwater pearl mussel, which is a key species that indicates a very clean and healthy environment of great benefit to wider society. It is right that farmers should be adequately rewarded for providing this important and valuable product”.

The scheme is currently being designed by the project team with input from farmers, advisors, and researchers. Consultation meetings with farmers in each local area will be held later in the year to inform them of the project and to gain an understanding of their views, concerns, and hopes for the scheme.

Further information is available on the recently launched project website ( where maps can be viewed to check eligibility and there is also a facility to register interest. The Pearl Mussel Project is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) locally led scheme funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as part of Ireland's Rural Development Programme 2014-20.


Relevant maps and photos available on request.

#pearlmusselproject #musselrivers #EIP-agr

Freshwater Pearl Mussel survey training

Staff from Wetland Surveys Ireland and members of the Pearl Mussel Project team undertook a day long training workshop on survey techniques for freshwater pearl mussel in the Kerry Blackwater catchment yesterday. The course was presented by Dr. Evelyn Moorkens with assistance from Kerry LIFE project staff, and included wading and snorkeling techniques, use of bathoscope for counting mussels, working with the bank manager who records counts and health and safety issues. All of the team passed the course and obtained their survey licences.а

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Pearl Mussel Project meeting

Wetland Surveys Irelandаhosted the first Pearl Mussel Project meeting of the project in Kenmare in June. During the day long meeting the project team team and project special advisors heard a series of excellent presentations given on the Pearl Mussel Project plans (Patrick Crushell), the biology and threats to pearl mussel (Evelyn Moorkens), farm plan guidelines (Derek McLoughlin) and lessons to be learned from the Kerry LIFE project (Richard O’Callaghan).а


The indoor session was followed by a visit to one of the Kerry LIFE demonstration farms in the Kerry Blackwater catchment to see how farm plans have been successfully introduced on one of the farms in the scheme with the help of one of local farmers, Mr. Dan O'Sullivan.

Attendees included: PMP: Patrick Crushell (Project Manager), Derek McLoughlin (Project Scientist), Peter Foss (Publicity and Administrator), Mary Catherine Gallagher (Project Ecologist), Con Curtin (Agri Consultant to PMP), Brendan Kirwan (Project Ecologist, WSI), Daireann McDonnell (Project expert advisor).а

Kerry Life: Richard O'Callaghan (Project Manager), Paul Phelan (Project Scientist), Padraig Cronin (Farm Advisor).

The overriding message from the day for the future of Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Ireland was summed up by Dr. Evelyn Moorkens:а

Fix river flows - fix everything.

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Revised County Wexford Wetland Map

As part of project to map Ireland's wetlands – the Map of Irish Wetlands - has published a revised County Wexford wetland map. The new on-line map has been uploaded and can be viewed on the Google map platform through Foss Environmental Consulting and Wetland Surveys Ireland website

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A variety of additional wetland locations, site descriptions and photographic images for the wetlands in Wexford county are shown on the new map.а

Here are some facts about the revised Wexford Wetland Map:

The location of 321 known and potential wetland sites are shown in County Wexford.а

No wetland survey has been undertaken for the majority of these sites in County Wexford.

60 sites on the Wexford wetland map display a photograph of the wetland.

All wetland sites listed in Wexford display information on the wetland habitats that are known or likely to occur there.

57 wetland sites include a short description of the wetland interest on the site.

To explore the map and obtain further information on the Map of Irish Wetlands project check out this link

The Wetland Surveys Ireland Team hope you enjoy your tour of wetlands in Wexford !


Discovery of a newly formed Irish bog

Tullaher Main

A recent study carried out to determine the value of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in undertaking habitat surveys of inaccessible wetland areas made an unexpected discovery. The traditional view of bog formation is that it occurs over a very long time frame of centuries or even millennia. The outcome of a recent survey by Wetland Surveys Ireland Ltd (WSI) suggests that a west of Ireland bog has evolved from an open water lake to an actively growing peat bog within the last 150 years.

Tullaher Lough in County Clare was the subject of the study undertaken by WSI on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The lake and its fringing wetlands form part of a Special Area of Conservation designated under the EU Habitats Directive. Despite the recognised value of the wetland, the habitats have not been subject to any intensive investigation, due in part to their inaccessible nature.

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Interpretation of drone imagery collected during the winter 2017 survey clearly shows that bog vegetation has established in the area to the west of the lake. Bog Cotton and red bog moss (appear as bright red), Heather (dark brown), other Sphagnum mosses (bright green), and bushy lichens (patchy light grey) are all clearly visible (see opposite). An ecological walkover survey subsequently confirmed that the habitat throughout the area corresponds to acid bog, with a high water table, undulating topography, and a dominance of typical bog species.

A review of historic mapping reveals that this area of bog has established since the mid-nineteenth century when the open water of the lake extended westwards (see below). The lake shore at that time was to the west of the current bog area.

Tullaher comparison

A similar pattern of terrestrialisation and establishment of bog conditions over a comparable timeframe has previously been documented at Clara Bog, County Offaly in a PhD study undertaken by Patrick Crushell of WSI. Such rapid establishment of bog has also been reported by Dutch researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Understanding the processes responsible for the development of bog habitat over a relatively short timeframe has important implications for bog restoration programmes and climate change mitigation. To this end, WSI intends furthering the research into this unique wetland area by supporting a research student to investigate the development history of the site in more detail.

Wetlands in County Dublin

As part of World Wetlands Day which this year celebrates Urban wetlands making cities liveable, the project to map Ireland's wetlands – the Map of Irish Wetlands - has published a revised Dublin city and county wetland map. The new on-line map has been uploaded and can be viewed on the Google map platform through the Wetland Surveys Ireland website. Some 67 of the wetlands shown are open to the public and have visitor access, so why not get out there and explore one of these great wetlands during World Wetlands Day

A variety of additional information, site descriptions and photographic images for the wetlands in Dublin city and county are shown on the new wetland map.а

Here are some facts about the new county Dublin Wetland Map:

  • The location of 173 wetland sites are shown in County Dublin.
  • Detailed wetland habitat surveys have been undertaken on 46 of these sites.
  • 119 of the sites include a lake or pond as the main wetland habitat present, making this the most frequent wetland habitat type to be found in County Dublin. The second most common habitat type is reedswamp which occurs on 77 sites.
  • 116 sites on the Dublin wetland map display a photograph of the wetland.
  • 136 wetland sites include a short description about the wetland interest on the site.
  • All wetland sites listed in Dublin display information on the wetland habitats that are known or likely to occur there.
  • 67 wetlands occur within parks or are accessible to the public are listed as such, while 22 other wetland sites occur in golf courses with private members access.

To explore the map and obtain further information on the Map of Irish Wetlands project during World Wetlands Day please check out this link.

During 2018 we hope to further refine and expand the information on wetlands displayed on the Map of Irish Wetlands, in County Dublin and throughout the rest of the country, and welcome information you might have on a site or a photograph for one of the wetlands shown on the map. а

The Wetland Surveys Ireland Team hope you enjoy your tour and visit to the wetland of your choice !

The online map is available to view on WetlandSurveysIreland.comаа


ай Website design Peter Foss 2012