Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

Slaney River Valley SAC

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Date site proposed as SCI:2002-01
Date site confirmed as SCI: No data
Date site designated as SAC: No data
National legal reference of SAC designation: No data


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
IE02Southern and Eastern
IE02Southern and Eastern

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1130  info      1904.79  0.00 
1140  info      1027.24  0.00 
1330  info      16.95  0.00 
1410  info      25.39  0.00 
3260  info      240.82  0.00 
91A0  info      146.168  0.00 
91E0  info      18.6929  0.00 
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA297Acrocephalus scirpaceus           
F1102Alosa alosa                 
F1103Alosa fallax           
BA052Anas crecca    800  800     
BA050Anas penelope    850  850     
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    620  620     
BA169Arenaria interpres    41  41     
BA062Aythya marila    416  416     
BA046Branta bernicla    200  200     
BA067Bucephala clangula    151  151     
BA144Calidris alba    262  262     
BA149Calidris alpina    3037  3037     
BA143Calidris canutus    566  566     
BA137Charadrius hiaticula    69  69     
BA026Egretta garzetta    12  12     
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    1800  1800     
F1099Lampetra fluviatilis           
F1099Lampetra fluviatilis           
F1096Lampetra planeri           
BA182Larus canus    100  100     
BA183Larus fuscus    1036  1036     
BA179Larus ridibundus    6136  6136     
BA157Limosa lapponica    1843  1843     
BA156Limosa limosa    350  350     
M1355Lutra lutra           
I1029Margaritifera margaritifera    3000  3000     
BA069Mergus serrator    226  226     
BA160Numenius arquata    1300  1300     
F1095Petromyzon marinus           
F1095Petromyzon marinus           
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    443  443     
M1365Phoca vitulina    27     
M1365Phoca vitulina    20  20     
M1365Phoca vitulina    20     
M1365Phoca vitulina    16  27     
BA140Pluvialis apricaria    3070  3070     
BA141Pluvialis squatarola    1412  1412     
BA005Podiceps cristatus    123  123     
F1106Salmo salar           
BA048Tadorna tadorna    903  903     
BA164Tringa nebularia    12  12     
BA162Tringa totanus    535  535     
BA142Vanellus vanellus    5000  5000     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Acinos arvensis                     
Ardea cinerea                     
Callitriche truncata                     
Cygnus olor                     
Erigeron acer                     
Filago minima                     
Groenlandia deusa                     
Lamiastrum galeobdolon                     
Larus argentatus                     
Larus marinus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibrenicus                     
Leucojum aestivum                     
Martes martes                     
Martes martes                     
Meles meles                     
Meles meles                     
Myotis daubentonii                     
Rana temporaria                     
Tachybaptus ruficollis                     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

This site comprises almost the entire Slaney system, from the headwater streams in the Wicklow Mountains to the extensive estuarine area of Wexford Harbour. The main river tributaries included are the Bann, Glasha, Clody, Derry, Derreen, Douglas and Carrigower Rivers. The tidal influence extends upriver as far as Enniscorthy. In the upper and central regions the geology consists of granite. Above Kilcarry Bridge, the Slaney has cut a gorge into the granite plain. The Derry and Bann Rivers are bounded by a narrow line of uplands which corresponds to schist outcrops. South of Kildavin the Slaney flows through an area of Ordovician slates and grits. The river is often fringed by woodland and/or swamp vegetation. Other habitats which occur alongside the river include wet grassland, scrub and, in higher areas, heath and bog. Improved grassland and arable land is included alongside the river for water quality reasons. Salt marshes are a feature of the lower estuarine area of the site.

4.2 Quality and importance

Estuaries and intertidal sand and mud flats are particularly well represented in this site, with salinity ranging from full freshwater to full seawater. The quality of these habitats is generally good. The Slaney River and its tributaries display good examples of floating river vegetation. An important area of alluvial forest is found at Macmine, while old oak woodlands occur at Toomnafinnoge, the latter being a remnant of the ancient oak woods of Shillelagh. The site is of high importance for the conservation of fish species, notably Salmo salar, Petromyzon marinus, Lampetra fluviatilis, L. planeri and the very localised Alosa fallax fallax. Lutra lutra is well distributed throughout, while a significant population of Margaritifera margaritifera occurs on the Derreen River. The site provides year-round haul-out habitat for the Annex II species Phoca vitulina, and includes regionally significant breeding and moulting sites. The site has high ornithological importance, especially for wintering waterfowl with internationally important populations of Branta bernicla hrota, Cygnus olor, Limosa limosa and Limosa lapponica. There is at least a further 14 species of wintering waterfowl which occur in numbers of national importance. Wintering Larus gulls are well represented, especially Larus ridibundus and Larus fuscus. A nesting colony of Egretta garzetta has recently become established within the site and birds are present in the area throughout the year. The site supports one of the best breeding concentrations of Acrocephalus scirpaeus in the country. A range of flora and fauna species listed as Red Data Book species occur within the site.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.5 Documentation

An Foras Forbartha (1975). AFF County Report for Co. Carlow. An Foras Forbartha (1979). AFF County Report for Co. Carlow. Bowman, K.J., Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J., McGarrigle, M.L. and Toner, P.F., (1996). Water Quality in Ireland 1991-1994. Environmental Protection Agency. Wexford. Brunker, J.P. (1950). Flora of the County Wicklow. Dundalgan Press, Dundalk. Central Fisheries Board (2001). Irish Salmon Catches 2000. February 2001. Central Fisheries Board (2002). Irish Salmon Catches. January 2003. Colhoun, K. (2001). I-WeBS Report 1998-99. BirdWatch Ireiand, Dublin. Cronin, M., Duck, C., Ó Cadhla, O., Nairn, R., Strong, D. and O'Keeffe, C. (2004). Harbour seal population assessment in the Republic of Ireland: August 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 11. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 34 pp. Cronin, M., Duck, C., Ó Cadhla, O., Nairn, R., Strong, D. and O'Keeffe, C. (2007). An assessment of harbour seal population size and distribution in the Republic of Ireland during the 2003 moult season. J. Zool. Lond. 273 Issue 2: 131-139. Crowe, O. (2005). Ireland's Wetlands and their Waterbirds: Status and Distribution. BirdWatch Ireland, Wicklow. Curtis, T.G.F. and Mc Gough, H.N. (1988). The Irish Red Data Book 1: Vascular Plants. Government Publications, Stationery Office. Dublin. Curtis, T.G.F. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1998). The salt marshes of Ireland: an inventory and account of their geographical variation. Biology and Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 98B: 87-104. Delany, S. (1996). Waterfowl Counts in Ireland, 1994/95: a summary of the first winter of the Irish Wetlands Bird Survey (I-WeBS). Irish Birds 5:423-432. Delany, S. (1997). IWeBS Report 1995-1996: Results from the second winter of the Irish Wetlands Bird Survey. IWC BirdWatch Irleand, Dublin. Doris, Y., Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J. and Lehane, M. (2002). Water Quality in Ireland 1998-2000. Statistical Compendium of River Quality Data. Electronic Publication on Disk. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. Eastern Regional Fisheries Board (2003) web: Falvey, J.P., Costello, M.J. and Dempsey, S. (1997) Survey of Intertidal Biotopes in Estuaries in Ireland. Unpublished report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin. Farrell, L. (1982). The distribution of Leucojum aestivum L. in Ireland. Irish Nat. J. 20 11:483-489. Glynn, D., Tyrell, L., McHugh, B., Rowe, A., Costello, J. and McGovern, E. (2003). Trace Metal and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Concentrations in Shellfish from Irish Waters, 2000. Marine Environment and Health Series, N. 7, 2003. Marine Institute, Dublin. Herries Davies, G.L., and Stephens, N., (1978). The Geomorphology of the British isles: Ireland. Methuen and Co. Ltd., London. Hunt, J., Derwin, J., Coveney, J. and Newton, S. (2000). Republic of Ireland. Pp. 365-416 in M.F. Heath & M.I. Evans (eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority Sites for Conservation 1: Northern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8). Irish Wetland Birds Survey (I-WeBS) Database, 1994/95-2000/01. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin. Jeffrey, D.W. and Wilson, J.G. (1985). A Manual for the Evaluation of Estuarine Quality. 2nd edition. Environmental Sciences Unit. Trinity College Dublin. Jones, M. (1986). Coppice wood management in the eighteenth century : an example from County Wicklow. Irish Forestry 43: 15-31. Kelly, D.L. and Iremonger, S.F. (1997). Irish wetland woods: the plant communities and their ecology. Biology and the Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 97B: 1-32. King, Jimmy. Personal Communication with EcoServe. February 2003. King, J.J. (2002). Investigations on shad species in Irish waters, paper presented at Royal Irish Academy National Commission for Hydrobiology, Annual Meeting, 2002. Kurz, I. and Costello, M.J., (1996). Proposed Special Areas of Conservation for Lampreys and Shads. Internal report to National Parks and Wildlife. Kurz, I. and Costello, M.J., (1996b). Current Knowledge on the Distribution of Lampreys and some other Freshwater Fish Species listed in the Habitats Directive. Internal report to National Parks and Wildlife. Brunker, J.P. (1950). Flora of the County Wicklow. Dundalgan Press, Dundalk. Kurz, I and Costello, M.J. (1999). An outline of the biology, distribution and conservation of lampreys in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 5. 27pp. Dublin. Dúchas - The Heritage Service. Lelek, A (1980). Threatened Freshwater Fishes in Europe. Nature and Environment Series No. 18. Council of Europe. Strasbourg. Lucey, J. (1993). The Distribution of Margaritifera margaritifera (L.) in Southern Irish Rivers and Streams. J. Conch. Lond. 34: 301-310. Lyons, D.O. (2004). Summary of National Parks & Wildlife Service surveys for common (harbour) seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), 1978 to 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 13. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 67pp. Maitland, P.S., (1996). Threatened Fishes of the British isles with special reference to Ireland in: The Conservation of Aquatic Systems. ed. J.D Reynolds. Royal Irish Academy. Maitland, P.S. (1980). Review of the ecology of lampreys in northern Europe. Canadian Journal of Aquatic Sciences 37: 1944 - 1952. Marine Institute (1999). Ireland's Marine and Coastal Areas and Adjacent Seas: An Environmental Assessment. Marine Institute, Dublin. McGarrigle M.L., Bowman J.J., Clabby K.J., Lucey J., Cunningham P., MacCarthaigh M., Keegan M., Cantrell B., Lehane M., Clenaghan C. & Toner P.F. (2002). Water Quality in Ireland 1998-2000. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. Merne, O.J. (1989). Important bird areas in the Republic of Ireland. In: Grimmett, R.F.A. and Jones, T.A. (eds) Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9, Cambridge. Moorkens, E. A. (1995). Mapping of Proposed SAC Area for Margaritifera margaritifera on the Derreen River, Counties Wicklow and Carlow. Report for National Parks and Wildlife Service. Dublin. Moorkens, E. A., (1996). Studies on the Biology and Ecology of Margaritifera in Ireland. PhD. Thesis. Trinity College Dublin. Neill, M. (1999). Water Quality in the Slaney Estuary and Wexford Harbour, Summer 1998. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Inspectorate , Kilkenny. Unpublished. Neill, M. (2000). Water Quality in Wexford Harbour, Summer 2000. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Inspectorate , Kilkenny. Unpublished. O'Reilly, P. (1998). Trout and Salmon Rivers of Ireland: an anglers guide. Merlin Unwin Books, London. O' Sullivan, W.M. (1994). Summer Diet of Otters on part of the River Blackwater Catchment. Ir. Nat. J. Vol. 24 No. 9:349-354. Purvis, O.W., Coppins, B.J., Hawksworth, D.L., James, P.W. and Moore, D.M. (1992). The Lichen Flora of Great Britain and Ireland. Natural History Museum Publications, Cromwell Rd., London. Quigley, D.T.G., and Flannery, K. (1994). Endangered Freshwater Fish in Ireland. Presented at Symposium on Endangered Freshwater Fish in Europe in Bern, Switzerland, September 1994. J. Aquatic Science. Quigley, D.T.G. (1996). Status and conservation of euryhaline fish in Irish waters. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Vol. No. 6. pp 313-318. Quigley, D.T.G. and Flannery, K. (1996). Endangered freshwater fish in Ireland, in Kirchhofer, A. and Hefti, D. (Eds), Conservation of Endangered Freshwater Fish in Europe, Birkhauser Verlag Basel, Switzerland. Reynolds, J. (1998). Ireland's Freshwaters. The Marine Institute, Dublin 1998. Roche, W. (1998). Monitoring of juvenile salmonid stocks in the Slaney Catchment, 1997. Central Fisheries Board. 32 pp. Unpublished. Rowe, D. and Wilson, C.J. (eds) (1996). High Skies - Low Lands. An Anthology of the Wexford Slobs and Harbour. Duffry Press, Wexford. Scanell, J.P. and Synnott, D.M., (1987). Census Catalogue of the Flora of Ireland. Government Publications. The Stationery Office. Dublin. Sharrock, J.T.R. (1976). The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, Berkhamstead. Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth: the Birdlife of the Estuaries, Lakes, Coasts, Rivers, Bogs and Turloughs of Ireland. Irish Wildbird Conservancy. Smiddy, P. and O' Sullivan, O. (1996). Forty-third Irish Bird Report, 1995. Irish Birds 5:445-474. Smiddy, P. and Duffy, B. (1997). Little Egret Egretta garzetta: a new breeding bird for Ireland. Irish Birds 6:55-56. Smiddy, P. and O' Mahony, B. (1997). The status of the Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus in Ireland. Irish Birds 6:23-28. Warner, P.J. (1983). An assessment of the breeding populations of common seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina L.) in the Republic of Ireland during 1979. Ir. Nat. J. 21: 24-26. Warner, P.J. (1984). Report on the census of common seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) in the Repubic of Ireland during 1984. Unpublished report to the Forestry & Wildlife Service. Webb, R. and Goodwillie, R. (1987). Tomnafinnoge Wood, Coolatin Co. Wicklow. An addition to the preliminary report on areas of scientific interest in County Wicklow. Unpublished report for Wicklow County Council. An Foras Forbartha Dublin. Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. (1996). An Irish Flora. Dundalgan Press. Dundalk. Went, A.E.J., and Kennedy, M. (1976). List of Irish Fishes. 3rd Edition. Stationery Office. Dublin. Whilde, A. (1993). Irish Red Data Book 2: Vertebrates. HMSO. Belfast.


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
IE05River Slaney (part)+1.00
IE11River Slaney Salmonid Water+5.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other River Slaney (part)+1.00
River Slaney Salmonid Water+5.00


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6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation



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