Special Areas of Conservation in Northern Ireland are part of the European Union's Natura 2000 network of sites with special flora or fauna.
Northern Ireland has 54 SACs:
|Name||LocalAuthority||Centroid (IGRS)||Area (ha)||EU Code|
|Cladagh (Swanlinbar) River||Fermanagh||H241301||28.30||UK0030116|
|Dead Island Bog||Londonderry||C931053||54.56||UK0030323|
|Fairy Water Bogs||Tyrone||H340772||223.70||UK0016611|
|Fardrum and Roosky Turloughs||Fermanagh||H180502||43.10||UK0030068|
|Magheraveely Marl Loughs||Fermanagh||H478269||58.78||UK0016621|
|Main Valley Bogs||Antrim||D034195||186.20||UK0030199|
|North Antrim Coast||Antrim||D022440||314.59||UK0030224|
|Rea`s Wood and Farr`s Bay||Antrim||J141857||41.81||UK0030244|
|River Faughan and Tributaries||C513087||293.27||UK0030361|
|River Foyle and Tributaries||Tyrone||H353876||770.12||UK0030320|
|River Roe and Tributaries||Londonderry||C687159||407.60||UK0030360|
|Slieve Beagh||Fermanagh; Tyrone||H524447||1,884.68||UK0016622|
|Teal Lough||Londonderry; Tyrone||H737879||198.22||UK0016608|
|Tonnagh Beg Bog||Tyrone||H412599||55.60||UK0030325|
|Upper Ballinderry River||Tyrone||H734792||58.80||UK0030296|
|Upper Lough Erne||Fermanagh||H329279||5,738.38||UK0016614|
|West Fermanagh Scarplands||Fermanagh||H085491||2,270.35||UK0030300|
|Wolf Island Bog||Londonderry||C922080||118.02||UK0030303|
A Special Protection Area (SPA) is a designation under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. Under the Directive, Member States of the European Union (EU) have a duty to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain particularly threatened birds. Together with Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), the SPAs form a network of protected sites across the EU, called Natura 2000. Each SPA has an EU code – for example the North Norfolk Coast SPA has the code UK9009031.
A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is defined in the European Union's Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), also known as the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. They are to protect the 220 habitats and approximately 1,000 species listed in annex I and II of the directive which are considered to be of European interest following criteria given in the directive. They must be chosen from the Sites of Community Importance by the member states and designated SAC by an act assuring the conservation measures of the natural habitat.
Protected areas of the United Kingdom are areas in the United Kingdom which need and /or receive protection because of their environmental, historical or cultural value to the nation. Methods and aims of protection vary depending on the nature and importance of the resource. Protection operates at local, regional, national and international levels, and may be backed by legislation and international treaty, or less formally by planning policy.
This page gives an overview of the complex structure of environmental and cultural conservation in the United Kingdom.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area of countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. Areas are designated in recognition of their national importance by the relevant public body: Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. In place of AONB, Scotland uses the similar national scenic area (NSA) designation. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty enjoy levels of protection from development similar to those of UK national parks, but unlike national parks the responsible bodies do not have their own planning powers. They also differ from national parks in their more limited opportunities for extensive outdoor recreation.
The Silvermine Mountains or Silvermines Mountains are a mountain range in County Tipperary, Ireland. The highest peak of the range is Keeper Hill or Slievekimalta at 694 metres (2,277 ft) high. Traditionally, the mountains were deemed to be part of the Slieve Felim Mountains.
The Dornoch Firth is a firth on the east coast of Highland, in northern Scotland. It forms part of the boundary between Ross and Cromarty, to the south, and Sutherland, to the north. The firth is designated as a national scenic area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland. The national scenic area covers 15,782 ha in total, of which 4,240 ha is the marine area of the firth below low tide. A review of the national scenic areas by Scottish Natural Heritage in 2010 commented:
By comparison with other east coast firths the Dornoch Firth is narrow and sinuous, yet it exhibits within its compass a surprising variety of landscapes. It is enclosed by abrupt rounded granitic hills clad in heather moor and scree, their Gaelic names of cnoc, meall and creag giving the clue to their character. Their lower slopes are frequently wooded, oakwoods being a noticeable feature of the area, but with other deciduous and coniferous species represented in plantations which vary from the policy plantings of Skibo Castle to the pines of the Struie Forest.
A turlough, or turlach, is a type of disappearing lake found mostly in limestone areas of Ireland, west of the River Shannon. The name comes from the Irish tur, meaning "dry", with the suffix -lach, meaning "a place". The -lach suffix is often mistakenly spelled and/or thought to refer to the word loch, the Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Scots word for "lake". The landforms are found in Irish karst areas.
Ballycroy National Park is located in the Owenduff/Nephin Mountains area of the Barony of Erris in northwest County Mayo, Ireland. It is one of the largest expanses of peatland in Europe, consisting of 117.79 square kilometres of Atlantic blanket bog. It is a unique habitat with a diverse flora and fauna. It was established as a national park on 1 November 1998. The area of the park is a candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) as part of a site known as the Owenduff/Nephin Complex. It is also a Special Protection Area and part of the Natura 2000 network.
Loch Creran is a sea loch in Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland. It is about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long from its head at Invercreran to its mouth on the Lynn of Lorne, part of Loch Linnhe. The loch separates the areas of Benderloch to the south and Appin to the north. The island of Eriska lies at the mouth of the loch. The loch is bridged at its narrowest point at Creagan, by the A828 road. The village of Barcaldine lies on the south shore of the loch.
Broadhaven Bay is a natural bay of the Atlantic Ocean situated on the northwestern coast of County Mayo, Ireland. The opening of the bay faces northward, stretching 8.6 km between Erris Head in the west and Kid Island/Oileán Mionnán in the east.
Cullahill Mountain is listed as a marilyn hill and a Special Area of Conservation in County Laois, Ireland. Cullahill with an elevation of 313 m (1,027 ft) gives its name to the local townland. It is also called Knockmannon Hill.
Spahill and Clomantagh Hill is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland. The SAC is in the parish of Balleen and includes the townlands of Clomantagh and Spahill, in Irish Spahill is Cnoc na Spá and Clomantagh Hill is An Chloch Mhantach.
Many parts of Wales are protected areas, according to a number of designations. They include three national parks, and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) is a type of marine nature reserve in UK waters. They were established under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) and are areas designated with the aim to protect nationally important, rare or threatened habitats and species. Approximately 20% of UK waters now have some protection although some conservation, fisherman and wildlife groups are concerned that there are no management plans for each zone.
Letter Hill is a large hill near the coast to the north-west of Letterfrack in County Galway, Ireland. It is 356 m (1,168 ft) high and been listed as a Special Area of Conservation.
Monawilkin is a townland in the West Fermanagh Scarplands in the Civil Parish of Inishmacsaint, Barony of Magheraboy, Northern Ireland. The townland has an area of 85.1947 hectares and has previously been referred to as Meenwilkin (1817) and Munadh Wilkin. Monawilkin is the best example of unimproved calcareous grassland in Northern Ireland. This differs from other Sesleria-dominated grasslands in the UK in that it also includes species such as Euphrasia salisburgensis (eyebright). Monawilikin is also an important orchid site, contains the best inland site for moths and butterflies in Northern Ireland, and is the only Northern Irish site for Cupido minimus, the small blue butterfly. Consequently, this area was designated as a special area of conservation (SAC) and area of special scientific interest (ASSI). The Monawilkin SAC land cover comprises 3% water bodies, 5% bogs, marshes, and fringe water vegetation, 13% heath and scrub, 50% dry grassland, 14% humid grassland, and 15% broad-leaved woodland.
Many parts of Scotland are protected in accordance with a number of national and international designations because of their environmental, historical or cultural value. Protected areas can be divided according to the type of resource which each seeks to protect. NatureScot has various roles in the delivery of many environmental designations in Scotland, i.e. those aimed at protecting flora and fauna, scenic qualities and geological features. Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designations that protect sites of historic and cultural importance. Some international designations, such as World Heritage Sites, can cover both categories of site.
The name East Caithness Cliffs refers to weathered sandstone cliffs on the east coast of Caithness in Scotland. The cliffs, which rise to 150 m at Berriedale, provide ideal nesting conditions for breeding seabirds, and are protected by several overlapping conservation designations: