Almost 13,000 acres of land set to be designated Special Areas of Conservation
A vast area of land in in locations spread over four counties is set to be formally recognised as Special Areas of Conservation.
The Department of Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht recently recently published a list of sites whose area spans some 5200ha (13,000ac) which will be formally recognised as SACs under the law.
Since 1997, Ireland has identified over 400 of our most important forests, rivers and lakes, uplands, estuaries, marine areas and bogs as areas which should be protected as part of a Europe-wide network of sites, known as NATURA 2000, under the European Union’s Habitats Directive.
These are prime wildlife conservation areas in the country, considered to be important on a European as well as Irish level.
These proposed or candidate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) were previously advertised and notified to the European Commission.
Under the Habitats Directive, Ireland is required to formally designate the SACs by Statutory Instruments.
The Department is in the final phase of Completion of the Natura 2000 Designation Programme and Notification Process.
This involves the formal preparation of a Statutory Instrument for each site.