Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs)
Protected Under: Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000
Further detail is available in the County Meath Development Plan 2007-2011 Chapter 8.
These were derived from the older Areas of Scientific Interest (ASIs) and include the best remaining areas of Ireland’s natural and semi-natural habitats. Sites may have been selected by virtue of having special scientific significance for one or more species, communities, habitats, landforms, or geological or geomorphological features, or for a diversity of natural attributes. Depending on their quality and importance, NHAs may carry other designations including SAC, SPA, Statutory Nature Reserve or National Park.
Candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs)
Protected under: Habitats Directive of 1992 (EU Directive 92/43/EEC)
These are sites that have been identified to be of conservation importance in a European context, based on the habitats and species; both plant and animal; that they support. The Directive has a number of Annexes. Habitats listed on Annex I are those habitat types of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of Special Areas of Conservation. Some of these are known as priority habitats for which there is a particular obligation for protection. Animal and plant species of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of Special Areas of Conservation are listed on Annex II of the Directive. All SACs are also proposed Natural Heritage Areas. There is a list of Notifiable Actions which apply to each annexed habitat and species. These are activities for which consent must be sought from the Minister of Environment, Heritage and Local Government within SACs.
Candidate Special Areas of Conservation in County Meath detail is available in the County Development Plan 2007-2011 Chapter 8.
Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
These are sites of European importance that have been identified as being of conservation importance on account of the bird species and populations they support. The Directive directs all member states to take measures to protect all wild birds and to preserve a sufficient diversity of habitats for all species naturally occurring within their territories, so as to maintain populations. Species whose status is a cause for concern are specifically identified for special conservation measures in Annex I of the Directive, and SPAs have been designated based on either the presence of these species or the presence of significant numbers of wintering waterfowl. All SPAs are also proposed Natural Heritage Areas.
Special Protection Areas in County Meath detail is available in the County Development Plan 2007-2011 Chapter 8.
National Parks and Wildlife Service
Information on Natural Heritage Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas are available on the NPWS website.
For further information on designated sites see Living with Nature (below), published by Dúchas
Living with Nature pdf, 1,314kb