World Wetlands Day – 2nd February 2023

County Monaghan is part of a large landscape of hills and wetlands extending into Northern Ireland.  The best known of these extend across the vast plateau of Sliabh Beagh, some smaller fens and transition mires to the north-east bordering Armagh and of course Kilroosky Lough Cluster outside Clones town.  But there are also small inter-drumlin degraded raised bogs and fens which if restored could contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation as well as our biodiversity.

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on 2 February, aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The theme for 2023 is Wetlands Restoration and highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration. Wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies, and more. It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them. Types of wetlands include lakes, rivers, fens, bogs, marshes etc.

Why wetlands are important:

  • Wetlands support biodiversity.
  • Wetlands absorb & store water and provide protection from flooding.
  • Wetlands store carbon.
  • Wetlands naturally ‑ filter water, remove pollutants and boost the local water supply.
  • Wetlands boost eco – tourism.


This project is part of the shared island initiative and will support one of the stated objectives of the Shared Island funding: conservation projects to support biodiversity or cross-border peatland protection. The vision of the project is to develop a project plan setting out where and how to restore wetlands and peatlands in the east border region; to deliver quantifiable GHG emission reduction targets and improve the ecological condition of degraded peatlands. The east border region includes counties Monaghan, Louth, Meath, Armagh and Down. The plan will set out how best to work with local communities and farmers on a cross-community and cross-border basis to conserve and improve the quality of peatlands and associated habitats, and the ecosystem services they provide including carbon storage, clean water, flood control and biodiversity. The result will be prioritised sites for peatland/wetland restoration forming a final investment project delivering benefits for biodiversity, climate and people.


Who’s involved in this project:

  • Monaghan County Council (Heritage section)
  • Louth County Council (Heritage section)
  • Meath County Council (Heritage section)
  • Ulster Wildlife
  • East Border Region
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
  • Newry Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council

Shirley Clerkin, Monaghan County Council Heritage Officer stated “For years now, Monaghan County Council has been conducting surveys on the extent and condition of our wetlands and peatlands.  We’ve also been able to access considerable EU funding to undertake important conservation activities in recent times.  The Shared Island initiative brings new energy to this work, with its focus on the island of Ireland as a single biogeographic unit, all of its environmental goods and services dependent on each other. World Wetlands Day is an important annual reminder of the significance of our wetland heritage, coming as it does at the start of the Irish spring and so close to St. Brigid’s day who’s crosses made from rushes present us with another wetland symbol.”


Slieve Beagh Special Area of Conservation