Designated Sites in County Clare

Wildflower Walk, Burren National Park, Ireland

County Clare has a wide range of habitats, many of which have been altered by human activity, evolved over time and are now maintained by more traditional low input farming. County Clare hosts a wide diversity of rare and vulnerable Annex I habitats and Annex II species both within and outside of designated sites. This is reflected in the extent and number of nature designated sites in the county. These range from the Shannon Estuary, the Burren, Slieve Aughty and Slieve Bernagh, the mid Clare coast, Black head, Loop head and the Cliffs of Moher, the east Clare wetlands and a long list of woodland and bog sites.

For a list of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) and proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHA) in County Clare, please see Appendix 3 of the Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023, Written Statement, Volume 1.

The Burren National Park
The Burren National Park is located in the south-eastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The land was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren; limestone pavement, calcareous grassland, hazel scrub, ash/hazel woodland, turloughs, lakes, petrifying springs, cliffs and fen.

There are five Wildfowl Sanctuaries in County Clare:

  • Mutton Island
  • Islandavanna
  • Tullagher Lough
  • Ballyallia Lough
  • Inagh River (part of)

There are four Statutory Nature Reserves in County Clare:

  • Ballyteigue Nature Reserve
  • Caher (Murphy) Nature Reserve
  • Dromore Nature Reserve
  • Keelhilla (Slieve Carron) Nature Reserve

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has information on the above Nature Reserves in County Clare.

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