Wetlands as a systemic solution to manage land and water quality

Could wetlands provide multiple benefits for the environment and for water quality and what is needed to realise these benefits?


There is rising concern about the need to protect water quality at source, rather than relying on heavy inputs of energy and chemicals downstream for cleaning up abstracted supplies. This, together with a greater emphasis on the value of “natural capital”, calls for more systemic management of land and water, including natural solutions involving wetlands at the land/water interface. Water companies, regulators and landowners are all showing increasing interest in exploring the opportunities offered by natural and created wetlands to deliver benefits using Payment for Ecosystem Services and other novel solutions. 

Living with Environmental Change’s (LWEC) policy and practice note on the topic is now available online at:



County Survey of Wetlands in Louth Completed

The 2014 Louth Wetland Survey III involved a field survey of the outstanding freshwater wetlands in County Louth, with the aim of identifying the specific wetlands and ecological interest of each site.  

The survey completed the 3 year project, funded by Louth County Council and Heritage Council, undertaken in 2011, 2012 and 2014 to map and characterise all wetlands in the county. This makes Louth the second only Irish county with a complete wetland inventory which describes the 308 wetland sites in the county. The wetland map of County Kildare was completed earlier in 2014. 

The sites surveyed in Louth in 2014 had previously been identified as being of potential interest during the County Louth Wetland Survey project prepared in 2012. 

The sites selected for survey were believed to contain notable wetland habitats including transition mire, cutaway bog, fen, marsh and heathland.  

The Louth Wetland Survey III report presents the results of the 2014 field survey and includes detailed site descriptions and habitat maps for the wetlands surveyed.

The 2014 survey information has also been used to update site descriptions, habitat information and photographs on the Wetland Map of Ireland. 

The Wetland Map of Ireland now displays a total of 6,150 sites across the country.

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Map showing the distribution of wetland sites of international (red), national (amber), and county importance (green) wetland sites in County Louth.    


© Peter Foss 2012