Natural Heritage Areas

Published by: Heritage Council
Category: Arts
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Dataset owned and provided by NPWS. Dataset downloaded 17th September 2010.

The basic designation for wildlife is the Natural Heritage Area (NHA). This is an area considered important for the habitats present or which holds species of plants and animals whose habitat needs protection.

To date, 75 raised bogs have been given legal protection, covering some 23,000 hectares. These raised bogs are located mainly in the midlands. A further 73 blanket bogs, covering 37,000ha, mostly in western areas are also designated as NHAs.

In addition, there are 630 proposed NHAs (pNHAs), which were published on a non-statutory basis in 1995, but have not since been statutorily proposed or designated. These sites are of significance for wildlife and habitats. Some of the pNHAs are tiny, such as a roosting place for rare bats. Others are large - a woodland or a lake, for example. The pNHAs cover approximately 65,000ha and designation will proceed on a phased basis over the coming years.
An archive of the Site Synopses for pNHAs can be downloaded here pNHA Site Synopses archive [4.2MB]. This PDF portfolio will require Adobe Reader 8 or higher to view. Please note that these synopses are based in many cases on old survey data and may not accurately reflect the status of the site at the current time.

The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) is compiling a list of geological/geomorphological sites in need of protection through NHA designation. A committee of expert geologists provides an initial list of sites which then undergo a process of survey, reporting and review, to provide recommendations regarding NHA status or otherwise. The GSI has completed its list of karst (i.e. exposed limestone) and early fossil sites.

Prior to statutory designation, pNHAs are subject to limited protection, in the form of: Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) plans which require conservation of pNHAs and operate for a period of 5 years Forest Service requirement for NPWS approval before they will pay afforestation grants on pNHA lands Recognition of the ecological value of pNHAs by Planning and Licencing Authorities. Under the Wildlife Amendment Act (2000) , NHAs are legally protected from damage from the date they are formally proposed for designation.

Data Resources (1)

available as arcsde connection
Theme Arts
Date updated 2010-11-18
Rights notes ['Seek Permissions', 'Seek Permissions', 'otherRestrictions']
Language English
Geographic coverage in GeoJSON format {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[-10.217512, 51.534424],[-10.217512, 55.221035], [-5.987908, 55.221035], [-5.987908, 51.534424], [-10.217512, 51.534424]]]}
Spatial Reference Systems (SRS) TM65 / Irish Grid (EPSG:29902)
Provenance information Dataset provided by NPWS. Dataset downloaded 17 September 2010. For further information contact