Paul Sherlock, Conservation Officer

  • Value wetlands for the multiple benefits and nature-based solutions they provide for human well-being and a healthy planet.
  • Manage wetlands wisely and use them sustainably so we can conserve them and maintain the health of these critically important ecosystems.
  • Restore lost and degraded wetlands to revive the rich biodiversity and life found in these life-sustaining ecosystems.

Next Up we have Paul Sherlock, Conservation Officer on the CANN project (

Paul is also a keen footballer

World Wetlands Day – Billy Flynn, Ecologist

World Wetlands Day is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these critically important ecosystems.
This is an urgent call to act. It is an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital in order to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing altogether — and to restore those we have already lost.

Our next video features Billy Flynn, Ecologist
Billy Flynn works in the area of environmental consultancy and is no stranger to the countys wetlands

Wetland Statistics

Wetland Statistics

Wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaption, fresh water 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.

Our second video this morning is by Rory Sheehan.

Rory is the Co-ordinator for the CANN (Colleberative Action Natura Network) project on Sliabh Beagh.

He works in Monaghan County Council and is also interested in Athletics.

Wetlands Facts

Nearly 90% of the worlds wetlands have been degraded since the 1700’s

We are losing wetlands 3 times faster than forests

Our first video features Enda Fields who is from Emyvale, Co Monaghan.

Enda is a member of the Emyvale Tidy Towns and is a community activist for water quality and the environment

He works in Dundalk IT in the Department of Built Environment/School of Engineering

Heritage and Biodiversity Actions for Climate – A new webinar series

The Local Authority Heritage Officers Network invites you to a new series of Climate Action webinars. Join us for four one-hour sessions every Thursday, starting on 27th January at 9.30am.

You will hear about positive actions for climate from the heritage sector. Topics will include nature-based solutions, adaptation of heritage structures, risk assessment and will focus on methods that we hope will ignite action for climate right across the country.

Malcom Noonan, Minister for State for Heritage will launch the first seminar this Thursday.  Paddy Woodworth, journalist will chair this webinar entitled “Embedding Climate in Heritage”. This webinar focuses on how we work to embed the climate crisis, and mitigation and adaptation approaches into the heritage agenda.

The series is supported by the local authorities, City and County Managers Association and the Heritage Council.

The themes of the other webinars are – Wetlands, Community and Climate; Nature-based solutions for Climate; People, Heritage and Climate.

Further information and links to register for the webinars – LAHON Webinar Climate – Click to see full list of Webinar details (PDF)

Webinar Recordings Available here:

Hedgerows in County Monaghan – A Decade of Change

A recent survey of hedgerows in County Monaghan has found that only 12% of hedges are in favourable condition.  The survey, undertaken for the Monaghan County Council Heritage Officer and co-funded by The Heritage Council, was outlined today 6th December at the Teagasc Hedgerow Week webinar by Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer.

The survey is a re-survey of sites that were first examined in 2010.  Since 2010, almost 11km of hedges have been removed from the sample squares.  This means that 0.9% of hedges in Monaghan may be removed annually, far more than the EPA estimate of 0.3%.  75% of the removals are attributable to agriculture.

Species diversity has declined since 2010, with 30 species recorded overall in 2021, five less species than in 2010.

In 2010, 37% of hedges were considered to be species rich. This has declined to 23%.

The main tree species at 70% is ash, and of trees examined 90% displayed evidence of ash dieback.

Adjacent land use has become more intensive.  In 2010, 28% of adjacent land was semi-natural grassland.  This has halved to 14%.

“Urgent action is required for our hedgerow resource.  The report sets out sobering results for County Monaghan.  All stakeholders must act now to do what they can to improve the future for our hedges, in recognition of their supporting role for a healthy and resilient countryside.” – stated Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer.  At the Teagasc Hedgerow week webinar, she highlighted the need for a results based payments scheme for farmers that included quality result indicators for hedges as a potential way forward.

The survey work was undertaken by Flynn Furney using the Hedgerow Appraisal System.  The survey is part of the implementation of the Monaghan Biodiversity and Heritage Strategic Plan, and was funded by the Heritage Council and Monaghan County Council.

Monaghan Hedgerow Report 2021 (PDF)

Eye Spy Wildlife on Sliabh Beagh Booklet

This Eye Spy Wildlife on Sliabh Beagh Booklet is part of the Keep Well campaign funded by the Irish Government. It is aimed at showing people of all ages how we can mind our own physical and mental health & wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines. Recording wildlife on your regular walk adds extra richness and will encourage you to go out more often.

The booklet was developed by the Heritage Section, CANN project and Monaghan Library  Service and helps to promote the importance of blanket bogs such as Sliabh Beagh by exploring some of the special species found there.

Visit The CANN Project website to view the booklet: Eye Spy Wildlife on Sliabh Beagh

Sliabh Beagh is a biodiversity rich upland blanket bog site, located in north County Monaghan and stretching into Fermanagh and Tyrone.  It is home to many important and endangered wildlife species, including the Hen Harrier, Curlew and the Marsh Fritillary butterfly.

Monaghan County Council is a partner of the Interreg CANN project, and you can get further information through our Heritage Office by contacting or

Eye Spy Wildlife on Sliabh Beagh Booklet

County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan 2020-2021

The County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan 2020-2021 aims to develop an integrated plan for the conservation of the wetland resource in County Monaghan, through co-operation and engagement with a wide range of partners and community groups. The plan is being launched to co-incide with World Wetlands Day on the 2 February.

Extensive work has been undertaken over the past fifteen years in identifying and characterizing the ecological character of wetlands throughout County Monaghan. The outcome of this work has produced a valuable dataset containing information on 710 wetlands, of which 202 have been subject to field survey.

This information will form the basis of a Wetland Action Plan for the county. As part of this project, the 202 sites for which standard information is available will be evaluated in relation to the multiple benefits (ecosystem services) that these wetlands provide.

The project will objectively identify management, restoration and rehabilitation priorities for the wetland resource of the county to, amongst other things, improve biodiversity outcomes and climate mitigation/adaptation.

The project will help define climate action as well as management strategies, defining an action plan for wetland protection in County Monaghan.

The project will help determine whether high-carbon ecosystems should be prioritised for restoration and rehabilitation budgets over the coming years to safeguard peat carbon storage and sequestration. In the County Monaghan context, wetlands that are not peatlands may play important roles in flood mitigation and biodiversity protection and the ecosystem services on these sites will also be assessed as part of the project.

Actions will be costed as part of the plan and likely will focus on the re-wetting of drained fens and peatlands, prevention of nutrient inputs to wetlands, removal of invasive species including self-seeded conifers, awareness raising and capacity building initiatives.

A public engagement strategy will be developed and funding sources identified to ensure the wide uptake of the wetland action plan among partners and community groups, the primary beneficiaries in County Monaghan.

The County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan (MAWP) project is a joint project initiative funded by Monaghan County Council, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Holy Wells Project

Many Holy Well sites have been lost in recent decades and the traditions associated with them are often no longer practiced, but some knowledge about them remains Monaghan communities.

Holy Wells are bio-cultural sites, where water chemistry characteristics often lended themselves as cures for particular illnesses, where traditional rituals became established and a longevity of usage through various cultural contexts occurred.  They are very much associated with local landscapes, with local saints and are held dear by local people.   They are of cultural, archaeological, ecological, folklore, spiritual, religious, geological and hydrological significance.

In order to safeguard oral traditions associated with these places relating to patterns, prayers, cures etc. it is timely to start this project now.    Some of the practices and traditions could be remnants of a social memory of ritual actions across thousands of years as described by Ray in Sacred Wells across the Longue Durée.

It is crucial to the project that we work with communities and other stakeholders from the outset of the project.

Questions such as these can only be answered with your participation: Do you have information to share about the Holy Wells of Monaghan? Are there wells still frequented but not officially recorded? Are there customs, rounds, traditions, stories or cures associated with your local holy well that you would like to share? Do you know what day the well was visited and what prayers were said? Were offerings left at the well, stone or at a nearby tree?  Is the well under threat from changes in usage or development?

We’d love to hear from you.  Please download the form and fill in as much detail as you can, which you can download here.

Monaghan Holy Well Information Submission Form (MS Word)

Alternatively, you can send us an email at or write to us at Heritage Office, Monaghan County Council, The Glen, Monaghan H18 YT50.

This project is supported by Monaghan County Council and the Heritage Council.