Irish Wetland Types

An Identification Guide and Field Survey Manual

Summary: Ireland’s Ramsar Wetlands Committee launched ‘Irish Wetland Types – An Identification Guide and Field Survey Manual’ during National Biodiversity Week 2018. The Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee (IRWC) comprises representatives from universities, state bodies and non-governmental organisations.

Report cover

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1-84095-740-2

Pages: 92

Filesize: 6,028 KB

Format: pdf


This manual was adapted for the Irish context by the IRWC to facilitate the identification of wetlands in Ireland by non-specialists. The need for such a resource was identified following a number of workshops and seminars relating to wetlands co-ordinated by the IRWC since 2010.  The generous support of the Scotland & Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER) in making an editable version of the original manual (SNIFFER, 2012) available and in permitting the use of material and content from it is deeply appreciated and acknowledged.

The purpose of this manual is to provide information for the non-specialist about the different types of wetlands in Ireland and how to identify them in the field. Wetlands such as lakes, rivers and ponds that are clearly identifiable as wetlands are not specifically described in this guide; instead there is a focus on the types that are more difficult to define. The typology is designed to enable a basic identification of wetlands in the field, by people who may not necessarily have ecological, hydrological or hydrogeological expertise. The divisions between “types” are therefore based on easily recognisable (visual) characteristics, including the landscape setting, hydrological features and vegetation found in the wetland. The typology is designed to be applied in the field, with no prior knowledge of the site required.