Commonage Framework Planning was a joint initiative between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture and Food. Teams combining agricultural and ecological skills to assess the sustainable use of these areas have surveyed all known commonage areas in Ireland.

To date in excess of 4,400 plans have been prepared, covering more than 440,000 hectares. Where necessary, destocking (removal of some of the stock kept on commonage) was prescribed to ensure recovery of the vegetation. These plans have been implemented through REPS, AEOS and the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme, as relevant, from 1999 - 2012.

A commitment has been made to monitor the condition of commonages to demonstrate, in particular, that initiatives are delivering recovery in overgrazed areas and that undergrazing is not becoming a problem. Ireland also has obligations to monitor the state of SACs containing uplands and peatlands in non-commonage areas. This involves a reassessment of habitats in commonage areas, some of which were assessed as early as 1999, and also non-commonage areas.

Planning teams comprising both agriculturalists and environmentalists have been trained and re-surveys have been completed in commonage blocks in Counties Mayo, Galway, Cork, Kerry, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Tipperary, Limerick and Louth between 2004 and 2010. Monitoring reports have been forwarded to the EU Commission highlighting the findings and trends. Additional survey work in 2007 focussed on Counties Mayo, Donegal and Kerry. In 2008, all commonage that had a destocking of greater than 50% were re-assessed.

In this context GIS files were set up to describe: - Destocking rates assigned to Agricultural Units - Habitat types and damage categories assigned to Agricultural Sub-Units and - Locations of Base-Stations and habitat types / damage categories recorded at these stations

A review of all the Commonage Framework Plans, setting sustainable stocking rates, will conclude in 2012 and will be communicated to all shareholders by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This information is not contained here.

Data Resources (1)

SHP / ZIP
available as zip

Data Resource Preview - Zip file containing shapefiles download

Theme Environment
Date dataset updated 2016-10-20
Dataset conforms to these standards The INSPIRE Directive or INSPIRE lays down a general framework for a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the purposes of European Community environmental policies and policies or activities which may have an impact on the environment.
Rights notes ['http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/', 'Public Sector Information Directive licence', 'license', 'Public Sector Information Directive licence', 'license']
Update frequency Other
Language English
Geographic coverage in GeoJSON format {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[-11.2659477885, 51.2059662415],[-11.2659477885, 55.820224054], [-5.75081106972, 55.820224054], [-5.75081106972, 51.2059662415], [-11.2659477885, 51.2059662415]]]}
Spatial Reference Systems (SRS) TM75 / Irish Grid (EPSG:29903)
Vertical Extent {"maxVerticalExtent": "1014", "verticalDomainName": null, "minVerticalExtent": "0"}
Provenance information **Commonage Agricultural Units shapefile (Commonage_Base_Plan_2011_National_v04.shp)** This polygon GIS file shows the Commonage Agricultural Units in the Republic of Ireland. Assigned to these Agricultural Units are destocking rates as assessed by teams combining agricultural and ecological skills. Attributes assigned to Agricultural Units in the shapefile include - prescribed destocking - date of survey - name of ecological / agricultural assessors **Commonage Agricultural Sub-Units shapefile (Commonage_Base_SU_2011_National_v03.shp)** This polygon GIS file shows the Commonage Agricultural Sub-Units in the Republic of Ireland. Assigned to these Agricultural Sub-Units are habitat types, as well as vegetation condition types or levels of damage as assessed by teams combining agricultural and ecological skills. The following vegetation condition types are assigned to Agricultural Sub-Units in the shapefile: Undamaged: U: Areas where grazing damage is not detectable Moderate damage : MU: Areas where grazing damage is clearly detectable MM: Areas where grazing damage is evident but nowhere very heavy MS: Areas where there are many signs of grazing damage but where the S/S* threshold is not reached Severe damage: S: Based on bare peat (>5%) and heather condition S*: Based on bare peat (>10%) and heather condition The habitat type attribute field holds the following categories: I Blanket Bog II Wet Heath III Dry Heath (includes maritime) IV Upland Grassland V Other habitats VI Improved Grassland VII Dune VIII Unimproved wet grassland IX Unimproved dry grassland X Fen/Marsh/Swamp XI Saltmarsh XII Beach/Shingle/Reef/Shore XIII Limestone Pavement/Grassland XIV Limestone Pavement (>75% rock) XV Scrub XVI Permanent open water (turlough) **Commonage Stations (Commonage_Base_Station_2011_National_v01.shp)** This point GIS file shows the Commonage Stations in the Republic of Ireland. Assigned to these Stations are habitat types, as well as vegetation condition types or levels of damage as assessed by teams combining agricultural and ecological skills. As in the Sub-Units file, the following vegetation condition types are assigned to Commonage Stations in the shapefile: Undamaged: U: Areas where grazing damage is not detectable Moderate damage : MU: Areas where grazing damage is clearly detectable MM: Areas where grazing damage is evident but nowhere very heavy MS: Areas where there are many signs of grazing damage but where the S/S* threshold is not reached Severe damage: S: Based on bare peat (>5%) and heather condition S*: Based on bare peat (>10%) and heather condition The habitat type attribute field holds the following categories: I Blanket Bog II Wet Heath III Dry Heath (includes maritime) IV Upland Grassland V Other habitats VI Improved Grassland VII Dune VIII Unimproved wet grassland IX Unimproved dry grassland X Fen/Marsh/Swamp XI Saltmarsh XII Beach/Shingle/Reef/Shore XIII Limestone Pavement/Grassland XIV Limestone Pavement (>75% rock) XV Scrub XVI Permanent open water (turlough)