Ireland has a rich natural heritage – from the sandbanks of the Shannon Estuary to the fens of Monaghan… from the natterjack toad to the Atlantic salmon… from the Killarney fern to the freshwater pearl mussel.

Welcome to Wildlife

The Heritage Council proposes policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage, including wildlife habitats, flora and fauna, all of which are afforded protection under the Heritage Act, 1995 [PDF 96KB]. A particular focus of our current work programme is high nature value farming and the development of appropriate policies under the Common Agricultural Policy; collaborating with government departments, state agencies, non-governmental organisations and heritage professionals on strategically important heritage initiatives; promoting the collection, management and dissemination of information on Ireland’s natural heritage, particularly through the National Biodiversity Data Centre.


Heritage Council at the National Ploughing Championships

We're at the ploughing championships again this year. Call by our stand.[more]

Native Woodland Strategy is Launched

For the first time, a national Native Woodland Strategy 2016-2020 has been published, which sets out a comprehensive, multi-sector vision for Ireland’s native woodlands, and a chartered course for realising that vision. [more]

Do your bit to Save Ireland’s bees

Guidelines for how to make gardens pollinator friendly are now available.Twenty practical, low-cost actions are suggested that gardeners can take to make their outdoor space a haven for Ireland’s declining bees.[more]

Left to rightPadraig Brennan, Director of Markets , Board BiaDr. Liam Lysaght, Director, National Biodiversity Data Centre.Michael Starrett, Chief Executive, The Heritage Council.

Taking Action to Save Our Bees

The Council is linking up with Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture to support the implementation of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. [more]

Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change

195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius.[more]

Counting Ireland’s Nature: evidence of winners and losers in the fight to save our biodiversity

Waterford/Dublin, Wednesday 9th December 2015 — Today sees the launch of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Indicators, the first ever attempt to assess the health of Ireland’s nature. Biodiversity indicators tell us the changes...[more]

Pictured are from L to R are: Declan Little, Woodlands of Ireland, Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine with Special Responsibility for Food, Forestry, Horticulture and Food Safety, and John Madden, Forestry Inspector, Forest Service.

Native Woodland Scheme Launched

The Scheme targets the management of Ancient, Old and Emerging (scrub) native woodland and the establishment of new native woodlands on greenfield sites.


Ireland is buzzing as 68 organisations enlist to save our Bees

Ireland joins a small number of countries in Europe who have developed a strategy to address pollinator decline and protect pollination service[more]

Register Your Event for Heritage Week

Register your event by 7th June for inclusion in our National Heritage Week Guide. [more]

The Heritage Council lobbies TDs and Senators for Greater Financial Support for Local Heritage Projects

On Wednesday 13th May,an Oireachtas Information Day was held for TDs and Senators from all over the country. [more]

CBH05296, West Cork Maritime Heritage Company have been awarded €3,500 for restoration of the only known sand boat in Ireland.

Heritage Council announces funding for 197 heritage projects nationwide

Our Community-based Heritage Grants Scheme supports the continuing conservation and development of Irish heritage through local community based groups[more]

Event registration for National Heritage Week 2015 is now open!

Ready, steady, go! Event registration for National Heritage Week 2015 is now open. [more]

Launch of All Island Tree Check App

A smartphone web based App to enlist the public’s help in safeguarding tree and forest health on the island of Ireland has just been launched.[more]

County Sligo Heritage Plan 2016-2020 Have Your Say in the Future of our Heritage!

Sligo County Council, together with the County Sligo Heritage Forum, is preparing the third Heritage Plan for Sligo and is seeking your views on the key priorities and opportunities for Sligo’s heritage over the next five years.[more]

Colin Stafford-Johnson

Living the Wildlife Returns to RTE on March 24th

Emmy award winning cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson returns to RTÁ‰ for another exciting season of Living the Wildlife.[more]

The Irish Forum on Natural Capital (IFNC) is launched

If you are interested in finding ways to make nature count in economic and political decision-making then register and get involved.[more]

Heritage Council Staff with Heather Humprhreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and John-Paul Phelan, TD.

Heritage Council Opens its Community Grant Scheme 2015

The Heritage Council intends to allocate the sum of €600,000 to its Community-based Heritage Grants Scheme in 2015.[more]

New Heritage Officer for County Leitrim

Aoife Mulacahy has been appointed Heritage Officer for County Leitrim. [more]

Have your say on the times for Cutting of hedges and burning of vegetation

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys is reviewing Section 40 of the Wildlife Act which sets the times for the cutting of hedges and burning of vegetation.[more]

Join Ireland’s largest citizen science project this Winter and help map Ireland’s wildlife

Let the National Biodiversity Data Centre know what you have seen out and about on your winter walks and help make a real difference to the Atlas of Mammals in Ireland project. [more]

New heritage tourism trail on the Wild Atlantic Way

Clare County Council, in partnership with Loop Head Tourism, The Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland, launched the Loop Head and Kilkee Heritage Trail on the Wild Atlantic Way[more]

European Commission’s Natura 2000 Award opens for a second year of applications.

The annual award is open to any entity involved in activities related to Natura 2000. Local and national authorities, businesses, site managers, land owners, NGOs, educational institutions and individuals[more]

Bat Conseration Ireland produces first publication on Irish Bats

Irish Bats in the 21st Century is a 173 pages, full colour publication packed with lots of information on Irish bats that has been gathered over the past 10-15 years.[more]

Smart Beehive earns UCC Students International Prize

An energy-neutral, smart beehive that monitors the lives of honey bees has won UCC students an international competition.[more]

Heritage Council Seeks Sponsor for National Heritage Week

Would you like to sponsor the largest cultural event in Ireland with almost 1000 organisations and individuals involved in hosting 1800 unique events over 9 days?[more]

Publication of First Book of Irish Animals

My First Book of Irish Animals is a beautiful picture book by Juanita Browne introducing young children to our wonderful wildlife. Filled with fascinating facts and illustrated by Aoife Quinn, this book will capture the...[more]

National Heritage Week kicks off This Weekend

Over the next eight days, over 400,000 people are expected to take part in National Heritage Week which runs from Saturday 23rd August until Sunday 31st August. This year a new record with over 1800 events are due to take place.[more]

Generations encouraged to explore Heritage Together during Heritage Week 2014

2014 marks the UN 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family. The theme for National Heritage Week 2014 is 'generations exploring heritage together’. Find out more about what events are happening in your area.[more]

Applications Now Open for World Heritage Management and Conservation at University College Dublin

The UCD MSc World Heritage Management and Conservation programme is designed to equip participants with an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of issues surrounding the management, conservation and sustainable...[more]

Photo: Dick Coombes

Irelands Swifts Need Your Help

The future of the Swift is under threat and there is growing concern for their populations both here in Ireland and across Europe. BirdWatch Ireland is undertaking a number of Swift surveys, and need your help by simply letting...[more]

New TV3's Series "The Park"

Filmed over a two-year period, this epic four-part series opens up the world of wonder that resides within Ireland’s oldest National Park in Killarney - a living archive of some of our most precious scenery, plants and wildlife. [more]

Help Needed with the Hop To It Irish Frog Survey

Every year IPCC needs the help of people all over Ireland to take part in the National Frog Survey Ireland. Please record where frogs, spawn and tadpoles occur in the Hop to It Irish Frog Survey. [more]

Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria)

Invasion of alien species to Ireland on the increase

Invasion of alien species to Ireland is on the increase with nearly four times more seen in the wild in the last century than the previous one. Help is needed to combat their threat to our biodiversity, economy and health.[more]

Wet heath blanket bog, Co Donegal

Heritage Council Urges New Approach to Agri-Environment Programme

The Heritage Council is proposing an agri-environment programme that will provide the most support to farmers who contribute the most in terms of wildlife. [more]

The Heritage Council Opens its Grant Programme 2014

The Heritage Council intends to allocate €700,000 to its Heritage Management Scheme in to support projects that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections or objects (including buildings).[more]

The Heritage Council launches Heritage Maps

Heritage Maps brings together heritage data from government departments, state agencies and local authorities to produce our wide range of data sets, many of which have never been shown publicly before![more]

New Initiatives Launched to Safeguard Ireland’s Unique Hedgerows

Ireland’s unique hedgerow network is receiving the recognition it deserves with the establishment of a National Hedgerow Database and a Hedgerow Appraisal System[more]

New Heritage Course by Loophead Tourism Network

Loophead Tourism network have developed a training course which will enable participants to identify and utilise the heritage resources of their local area in the development of sustainable tourism products. [more]

100 Stories about County Offaly

100 great stories about Offaly's Heritage. Did you know? . . one of Ireland’s last public hangings took place at Tullamore Gaol . . Croghan Hill is a volcano . . .a U.S. president is descended from a Moneygall shoemaker. Read...[more]

New Report on the Onshore Windfarm Sector in Ireland produced by The Heritage Council

The Heritage Council as a national statutory body seeks to ensure that the development of the renewable energy sector in Ireland can be carried out in harmony with our unique and world-renowned national heritage.[more]

Public Consultation on Renewable Energy Begins

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte, T.D. announces the commencement of the first phase of public consultation on the proposed Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework.[more]

National Heritage Week 2013 set to reach record total with 1700 events nationwide

National Heritage Week 2013 which takes place nationwide from 17th — 25th August 2013, looks set to reach a record total of 1700 events this year, the majority of which will be FREE to attend[more]

Enjoy the outdoors responsibly, a message from Leave No Trace Ireland

Summer has arrived and as many thousands of people venture into the outdoors to enjoy our beautiful beaches, forests, parks, mountains and lakes, Leave No Trace Ireland is encouraging everyone to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.[more]

€2.6 Million announced for the AranLIFE Project

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed the provision of €2.6 million funding for Aran Islands conservation under the EU's LIFE+ programme.[more]

Lough Derg Heritage Trail Apps Apps, Brochures and DVDs just Launched

The app has detailed descriptions of trails around Lough Derg with all the points of interest along the way.[more]

Secret Life of the Shannon series

The Secret Life of the Shannon Series will be broadcast on RTE1 at 6.30pm on 26th May & 2nd June 2013. [more]

74 International Blue Flag and 45 National Green Coast Awards announced for Ireland in 2013 with stricter bathing water quality standards

An Taisce have announced the International Blue Flag Award and the National Green Coast Award recipients for 2013. [more]

UCD launch Distance Learning courses on World Heritage Conservation

The Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in World Heritage Conservation are part-time, online, distance learning courses.[more]

New Heritage Plan for County Monaghan

A new Heritage Plan for County Monaghan by Monaghan County Council was launched recently by Conor Newman, Heritage Council Chairman and Monaghan Mayor Cllr. Hugh McElvaney.[more]

Submissions sought for new Inland Fisheries Act

The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd, T.D. invites members of the public and interested parties to send written submissions for consideration by the Department in...[more]

Online Event Registration- Now open for Heritage Week

In the year of The Gathering, people are encouraged to get involved in National Heritage Week 2013 by organising an event in their community and showcase their local natural and cultural heritage[more]

3 Part TV Series on RTE- Secrets of the Irish Landscape

Derek Mooney, with the help of Praeger’s 1937 book ‘The Way That I Went’, will go on an epic journey around Ireland and Europe, looking back 20,000 years to unravel the true enigma surrounding Ireland’s unique and stunning eco...[more]

Call for Candidacies for the 6th European Greenways Award (EGA)

This biennial award will recognize examples of best practices in greenways under three categories: Excellence Awards, Exemplary initiatives & Tourism Product in Greenways.[more]

Dr. Don Cotton

NBDC Announce Distinguished Recorder 2012

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to announce that Dr. Don C.F. Cotton was presented with the Distinguished Recorder Award 2012 at a special ceremony in Dublin on Thursday 22nd November.[more]

Protected Areas have increased to cover one fifth of Europe’s Land

More than 21% of the land has some kind of protected status in the 39 countries which work with the European Environment Agency (EEA).[more]

From Apathy to Empathy: Reconnecting People & Place - Audio Available

Feedback from organisers, speakers and attendees is now available online. This unique event brought together leading national and international thinkers and practitioners who specialise in the theme of place-based learning. [more]

Cape Clear Island Summer Courses - Summer Sale

Courses include birdwatching, wildlife photography and nature spotting[more]


Photo: Birdwatch Ireland Website (Anita Donaghy)

Curlews In Crisis Workshop

4th November, Higginstown, Nr Athlone- One day workshop on the Curlew crisis in Ireland. There are fewer than 150 breeding pairs left and they are in imminent danger of extinction.[more]

National Biodiversity Data Centre Workshops 2016

The National Biodiversity Data Centre runs an extensive programme of events each year to improve identification and field skills.[more]


Hedgerow Appraisal System and National Hedgerow Database

Woodlands of Ireland, with its partners, have developed a Hedgerow Appraisal System to facilitate the description and assessment of hedgerows in Ireland. [more]

National Biodiversity Data Centre

The Heritage Council established the NBDC in January 2007 as a Centre of Research Excellence on Ireland’s flora and fauna.[more]

High Nature Value Farming

High Nature Value FarmingThe Heritage Council has grant-aided the 'European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism' (EFNCP) to undertake work on high nature value (HNV) farming since 2010.[more]

Local Biodiversity Action Plans

Local Biodiversity Action PlansThe Heritage Council works with the Dept. of the Environment, Community & Local Government and with Local Authorities around the country, assisting in the development of these plans and...[more]

Heritage Appraisal of Indicative Forest Strategies

Heritage Appraisal of Indicative Forest StrategiesThis documents provides recommendations for Local Authorities in relation to the development of Indicative Forest Strategies.[more]

National Bat Monitoring Pilot Programme

National Bat Monitoring Pilot ProgrammeIn 2003, the Heritage Council collaborated with the Bat Conservation Trust to develop and evaluate a bat detector-based monitoring project for Ireland. [more]


Heritage Manifesto: A Strategic Investment Programme for People and Place

Do you support community based heritage, education and training?  Want to see more government  investment and capacity in the sector? This document has some ideas you can help us to promote in the coming weeks and...[more]