Survey of Annex I Alluvial woodland in Lough Ree cSAC 2019

Ancient woodland refers to those woods that have had a continuous history of cover since before the period when planting and afforestation became common practice (mid‐1600s). These woodlands are important in terms of their biological and cultural value, and may even form links with prehistoric wildwoods. To date, unlike our European counterparts, no extensive study of ancient woodland has been conducted in the Republic of Ireland, leaving these irreplaceable habitats open to threats such as woodland clearance. This polygon shapefile constitutes the main output from the Ancient and long-established Woodland Inventory 2010.

A total of 481 woodland sites were digitised and the following categories were set up: - Possible ancient woodland (PAW) stands have been continuously wooded since 1660. - After additional research some PAW stands were upgraded to ancient woodland (AW) status. - Long‐established woodlands (LEW) have been continuously wooded since 1830. There are two sub‐categories, LEW (I) stands for which no evidence of antiquity could be found in older documentation, and LEW (II) stands for which there is evidence that the site is not ancient.

In addition, for each digitised polygon the stand type on the OS maps was determined. The categories used were semi‐natural broadleaf (SNB), mixed woodland (MW), conifer plantation (CP), non‐native broadleaf (NNB) and recent clearfell (RC).

This inventory is provisional in nature, investigating only a subset of Ireland’s woodland resource and available historical documents. However, it presents a working methodology to assist in the identification of these sites in Ireland. This study also promotes taking a multidisciplinary approach in the study of ancient woodlands.

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Data Resource Preview - Survey of Annex I Alluvial woodland in Lough Ree cSAC 2019

Theme Environment
Date released 2010-01-01
Date updated 2024-02-01
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 ['', 'Copyright Government of Ireland. This dataset was created by National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. This copyright material is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.', 'otherRestrictions']
Update frequency Other
Language English
Geographic coverage in GeoJSON format {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[-9.035723179097, 52.317033775034],[-9.035723179097, 54.030900962534], [-6.618730991597, 54.030900962534], [-6.618730991597, 52.317033775034], [-9.035723179097, 52.317033775034]]]}
Spatial Reference Systems (SRS) TM75 / Irish Grid (EPSG:29903)
Vertical Extent {"verticalDomainName": "EPSG Projection 5731 - Malin Head height", "minVerticalExtent": "0", "maxVerticalExtent": "1014"}
Provenance information Two study sites in Lough Ree cSAC were originally selected based on the results of the National Survey of Native Woodland (NSNW) (Perrin et al., 2008a) that indicated *91E0 may be present there, but were not conclusive. The two sites originally selected were St John’s Wood, Co. Roscommon, widely regarded as one of the best native woodlands in the country, and Clearaun, Co. Longford. The shore of Lough Ree at St John’s Wood was walked on 23rd-26th July 2019 by the surveyors. During the walkover survey, lakeshore woodland was assessed for its conformity to the *91E0 alluvial forest Annex I habitat type. The key criteria used to evaluate *91E0 were vegetation composition, soil type, and evidence of periodic inundation. Vegetation composition was assessed with reference to positive indicator species used in the previous (2007-2012) monitoring period (O'Neill and Barron, 2013). Due to equipment malfunctions, the extent of *91E0 at St John’s Wood was marked in the field on hard copy aerial photos over which a 100 m x 100 m grid in the Irish Grid coordinate reference system had been printed. This was supplemented with the use of a Garmin eTrex handheld GPS unit. Waypoints were marked at important points along the boundary of *91E0 polygons, such as the beginning and end along the shoreline, maximum woodland interior extent and bends in the habitat boundary. GPS accuracy was maximised by ensuring the unit was on for enough time for a stable signal to be received from satellites. The location of the study area alongside a large, open lake also appeared to help GPS accuracy, especially when compared to performance in most woodlands. Error reported by the GPS unit typically ranged from 4-7 m. Hand-drawn maps and GPS waypoints were then used in the office to digitise *91E0 polygons over 1:5000 OSI vector mapping and aerial photography provided by NPWS. Digitising was carried out using QGIS 3.4 (QGIS Development Team, 2019).
Period of time covered (begin) 2019-06-25
Period of time covered (end) 2019-10-29