Map of Irish Wetlandsа-аBackgroundаInformation

WMI Logo 2017 Wide Band 3smallNumerous project have been undertaken over the last 20 years in Ireland to map freshwater wetland habitats in many counties. However, no centralised map of wetlands exists for Ireland.

As the team from Wetland Surveys Ireland have undertaken numerous studies and surveys, and proposed plans for the protection and conservation of wetland habitats for over 20 years, we decided to develop this mapping project to show the location and provide information on a range of freshwater wetlands around Ireland.а

The wetland habitats on sites displayed in the Map of Irish Wetlands include the following types. аMore information on these habitats and a detailed description can be found inаFossitt, J. (2000)аA Guide to Habitats in Irelandаpublished byаThe Heritage Council, Ireland (You can download the Heritage Councils habitat keyаhere):а

  • LAKE (DYSTROPHIC/ ACID/ ALKALINE/ MESOTROPHIC/ EUTROPHIC)
  • RESERVOIR
  • TURLOUGH
  • ARTIFICIAL POND
  • CANAL
  • CALCAREOUS SPRING
  • NON-CALCAREOUS SPRING
  • REED SWAMP
  • TALL HERB SWAMP
  • MARSH
  • WET HEATH
  • RAISED BOGа
  • LOWLAND BOG
  • UPLAND BOG
  • CUTOVER BOG
  • ALKALINE FEN
  • CLADIUM FEN
  • POOR FEN
  • TRANSITION MIRE
  • WET WOODLAND (OAK ASH OR WILLOW ALDER)
  • RIPARIAN WOODLAND
  • BOG WOODLAND
  • SCRUB (BIRCH WILLOW ALDER)
  • LAGOON AND SALINE LAKE
  • DUNE SLACKS
  • ESTUARIES


To find out more about wetlands and the range of wetland types, check out our Factfiles on Irish wetlands. The distribution of a selection of these habitats in Ireland can be viewed here

For these wetlands we aim to provide the following information (data attributes) on sites in so far as this is available. The Irish wetland map was created from a variety of data sources and is displayed via the Google Maps interface.а

  • Site nameа(Site name as reported in previous reports or surveys. Where name is followed by "-" this is the name of the larger site that the sub-site is included within. e.g. GORTEENNAMROCK - ASKEATON FEN COMPLEX, Gorteennamock is located within the Askeaton Fen Complex).
  • WSI Site Codeа(unique wetland site code number assigned to site; please use this code in any correspondance concerning the site (see below)).
  • Site photographа(Image of site photographed by individual or from web source; publication or survey report. Higher resolution photographs of wetlands illustrated on the pop up window are located in the Gallery folder onаwww.FossEnvironmentalConsulting.com).а
  • Photograph credit and copyrightа(Acknowledgementаtoаindividual or group who provided the site photograph).а
  • Countyа(The county in which the wetland occurs).
  • Site evaluationа(Conservation ranking of the site based on a habitat, botanical or faunal survey undertaken for a county council or the state agency. Allаdesignated Natural Heritage Area (NHA) are considered nationally important, whileаSpecial Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) are considered to be Internationally important).
  • Site Protectionа(An indication of whether the site has any form of protection within a designated Natural Heritage Area (NHA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA), National Nature Reserve, National Park, Forest Park or is a Private or Local Nature Reserve). Although all wetland have been afforded a degree of protection under recent changes to the planning laws, protection here means additional more direct conservation measures are being applied to conserve, manage аand/or protect the site.
  • Main Wetland Typeа(A list of the main wetland habitats present on the site).
  • Descriptionа(A brief description of the wetland interest on the site).
  • Data Sourceа(An indication of group who provided data/location on the listed site).
  • Further Informationа(Report, website or group that can be contacted if further, more detailed information, on the site is required).


Some facts about the Map of Irish Wetlands

With the completion of the first draft of the Map of Irish Wetlands in October 2016, we thought it might be worth providing some information on the structure of the map and the additional background data held on the wetlands displayed.а

The on-line Map of Irish Wetlands shows the location of more than 12,600+ known and potential wetlands in Ireland. It is the first time such a national data set has been created and made publicly accessible.а

TheаMap of Irish Wetlandsаincludes the location of formally designated and protected sites (Natural Heritage Areas (NHA), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)), as well as a wide range of private nature reserves, wetlands in public or state parks, wetland centres etc.а

In addition theаmap shows the location of wetland sites, which have no formal designation and for which we have very limited information, included here are many intact and cutover bogs, farm ponds, quarry ponds, golf course pondsаand “unknown” wetland areas (marshes, swamps and fens) in the general countryside.аMany of these wetlands were identified from aerial photographic survey, using flooding, subsoil and visual examination to identify new wetland, or “potential" wetland sites. The wetland county screening process for all 26 counties in Ireland was completed in October 2016.

MIW Info Window

The map is displayed via the Google Maps interface and can be accessed from anywhere, via most internet connected devices, without the need for any special software.аIn the Google pop up window of the on-line version of the Map of Irish Wetlands, information (stored in 150,000 individual data fields for the 12,600 sites) is displayed (see categories above).аIn addition to site information, the map also displays a site photograph where one is available, via a linkаfrom theаGallery folderаonаwww.FossEnvironmentalConsulting.comаwhere photographs are held within 26 individual county photographic folders.а

The on-line version of theаMap of Irish Wetlands data set is created from 26 individual county wetland databases holding far more detailed site information than that displayed on the on-line version of the map.а

This includes a wide variety of information on each wetlands such as data on the wetlands location, ownership, all habitat types present on a site,аflora and fauna information, occurrence of rare species, threats and impacts to the site and further information on the wetland including year of last survey, survey descriptions of the site, published materials, habitat maps and associated data are recorded where such data is available. This wetland data is stored in more than 430,000 individual data fields for wetland sites in the 26 county databases.а

As new data become available on a wetland site, from either information provided by the public, or from a wetland surveys or a general site visits, or a photograph submitted by a member of the public, data on a given wetland is updated in the respective county wetland database.а

Selected information held in the individual county wetland databases is then regularly exported to the main Map of Irish Wetlands database which is then displayed via the on-line map.а

How you can Help us improve the Map of Irish Wetlands

We intend to continue to refine the information presented on wetland sites on the map over the coming years, including the addition of site photographs, habitat information and descriptions. We always welcome information on new or existing sites, and look forwarding to hearing from you if you would like to contribute to this wetland mapping project.

If you would like to help us you can send us information on the wetland via theаresponse formаa link which can be found just above the map.а

Map of Irish Wetlands Team.

Peter Foss & Patrick Crushell

ай Website design Peter Foss 2012