Monaghan Wetlands project shortlisted for Excellence in Local Government Award

The team working on an Action Plan for Wetlands in County Monaghan is delighted to announce that the project has been shortlisted for a Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Award.

The wetlands action plan is defining climate action and biodiversity restoration strategies and identifying sites where landowner and community buy in can be achieved.  It is the first wetlands action plan for any county in Ireland and also is the first use of the International Ramsar Convention RAWES method, which has allowed the team to capture and score the ecosystem services for the wetlands, creating an easy to understand communication tool for non-scientists and funders.

A Community Wetlands Network for climate, nature and people to support local interest in conserving wetlands was launched during Heritage Week to support the initiative.

Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer with Monaghan County Council said “The Monaghan Wetlands Action Plan is shortlisted in the Supporting Sustainable Communities category, very appropriately, as the initiative is about building bridges between wetlands and people. We are aiming to keep wetlands healthy and to inspire communities and landowners to value them as part of a sustainable society.  Many thanks to Chambers Ireland ELG awards for their encouragement with this initiative.”

This is joint project initiative funded by Monaghan County Council, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the National Biodiversity Action Plan.  Monaghan County Council is working with Wetland Surveys Ireland to deliver this work

The County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan 2020-2021 aims to develop an integrated plan for the conservation of the wetland resource in County Monaghan, assessing ecosystem services and by engaging with a wide range of partners and community groups.  It is joint project initiative funded by Monaghan County Council, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the National Biodiversity Action Plan.  Monaghan County Council is working with Wetland Surveys Ireland to deliver this initiative.

County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan. Preliminary Scope And Methodology. By Peter Foss And Patrick Crushell (2020) (PDF)

As part of the Monaghan Wetland Action Plan Project, 202 sites for which standard survey information exists will be evaluated in relation to the multiple benefits (ecosystem services) that these wetlands provide. This standard information is available thanks to past wetland surveys in the county.

A web app developed as part of the Monaghan Wetland Action Plan project shows the location of these wetlands, and allows local groups and interested parties see the results and outcome of the project.

The map can be viewed here:

Public attitudes to wetlands:

A survey was conducted in 2021 to determine engagement and attitudes to wetlands.  It found that 87% of the 156 respondents are interested in conserving wetlands.


Restoring Monaghan’s Wetlands – webinar

We held a webinar in April 2021 about the action plan project, to explain about wetlands and their ecosystem services and to hear about work that is happening in County Monaghan.

You can watch the webinar recording here.


Monaghan Wetlands Story Map

This is a great resource displaying wetland sites for you to visit and discover.


Monaghan’s Wonderful Wetlands. 

This book is written by Dr. Peter Foss and Shirley Clerkin. It celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of our wetlands, is beautifully illustrated with photographs, and art by Neal Greig and Barry Quinn. Poetry by Peter Fallon.

Chapters – What is a wetland / The importance of wetlands / Types of wetlands in Monaghan / Wetland Plants/Wetland Wildlife/ Cultural Heritage of Monaghan’s wetlands / Where to see wetlands and wildlife in Monaghan / What you can do to help.

Funded jointly by the Heritage Council and Monaghan County Council.  It can be bought it local bookshops or through the Monaghan Heritage Office by contacting

Monaghan launches a Wetland Network for nature, climate and people

The Monaghan Wetland Network is launching during National Heritage Week, to showcase the importance of wetlands for nature, climate and people.

The purpose of the Monaghan Wetland Network is to safeguard our wetlands through conservation and nature enhancement measures, promoting their biodiversity, cultural, health benefits and values, sharing our experiences and building capacity to protect our wonderful wetland heritage.

Funding is also being made available through Monaghan County Council, via the Monaghan Wetland Action Plan Fund to carry out actions at a Wetland Network sites. The aim of the fund is to incentivise community groups and individual landowners to take positive actions for wetland sites as part of the Monaghan Wetlands Action Plan.  The fund is modest, but it is planned to grow this in subsequent years as the network develops.

The Heritage Office of Monaghan County Council invites people, community groups and landowners to join the County Monaghan Wetland Network.  The Heritage Officer Shirley Clerkin said “We are in a climate and biodiversity crisis, and we need our wetlands as part of a resilient nature to help buffer some of the negative impacts of these changes.  We also need to build understanding and skills about nature and wetlands in the county.  Our recent attitudes study found that 87% of respondents were interested in conserving wetlands.  This network is a response to this need.”

This network is part of the County Monaghan Wetland Action Plan, which is developing a plan to protect, enhance, conserve, and advocate for the biodiversity and heritage of Monaghan’s wetlands.  Monaghan County Council Heritage Office is working alongside Wetlands Surveys Ireland to develop the plan, and a web app to make it easy to identify wetland sites.

How to join the County Monaghan Wetland Network? … Use the link below to register your site. You can also find out more by downloading the booklet on the scheme below. :

Monaghan Wetlands Booklet (PDF)

Monaghan Wetland Action Plan – Report (PDF)

This project is being funded by Monaghan County Council Heritage Office ( and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the National Biodiversity Action Plan.