Nature & Conservation

Fallen Tree in Lake

As well as being one of six national parks found in Ireland, Glenveagh is protected by EU and national law.

Glenveagh falls within both the Cloghernagore Bog & Glenveagh National Park Special Area of Conservation (SAC), and the Derryveagh & Glendowan Mountains Special Protected Area (SPA). Further reading on both SACs and SPAs can be found on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.

Spanning approximately 16,000 hectares, Glenveagh has a broad mosaic of habitat types including uplands, woodlands, peatland and freshwater rivers and lakes.

The flora and fauna that have found their way to Glenveagh since the last Ice Age, occasionally with the helping hand of human settlers, have had to contend with the local climate. They tend to show adaptation to a late spring and cool short summer, with high levels of rainfall and below average Irish temperatures.

Many of the species found here are confined to North West Ireland and show similarities with the flora and fauna of western Scotland.

The rocky, exposed landscape of Glenveagh limits the plant and animal life. The soils are waterlogged and covered in peat and the grazing is of low quality. The wildlife suited to these conditions is quite specialised and abundance and variety of species changes with the seasons but remains generally low.

Mans impact on the environment has been relatively small and most of the habitats in Glenveagh are in a semi-natural state. However past human activities such as tree felling, grazing livestock and the creation of a deer herd have had a lasting influence on its ecology. Growing visitor numbers will also impact the future of this landscape unless carefully managed. Please see our monitoring section to read about our current and ongoing projects.