River corridors are important for providing a habitat for
many plants and animals to live, and to move through. The
rivers are important in the landscape, connecting marshes,
wet grassland, hedgerows and woodlands. In some cases they
act as the green lungs within urban areas and
provide attractive places for recreation.
Rivers in Fingal
There are ten rivers that meander their way through the countryside
and urban areas in Fingal. These are the Delvin, Corduff,
Ballyboughal, Broadmeadow, Ward, Tolka, Liffey, Santry, Sluice
and the Mayne River. Most of these rivers are still in a relatively
natural condition, even the ones that run through urban areas
such as the Ward and Tolka rivers. The rivers in the countryside
are generally slightly or moderately polluted
while within the urban areas the rivers are sometimes more
Despite their moderately polluted status, many characteristic
river plants and animals can be found in and along the rivers.
Otter and Trout have been recorded in all rivers in Fingal.
Typical river birds such Kingfishers, Dippers and Wagtails
have become less common, but are still abundant. A number
of very rare plants can be found along the rivers too such
as Green Figwort and Flowering-rush, both of which can be
found in the Liffey Valley.
Find out what we are doing to protect and enhance our Rivers.
Wetlands in Fingal
Wetlands come in many sizes in Fingal, from small ponds to
extensive marshland. Knock lake near Balbriggan is the largest
freshwater lake in Fingal and is home to many waterbirds.
The Sluice Marsh and the Mayne Marsh are associated with the
Baldoyle Estuary near Portmarnock. These two marshes are in
a healthy condition and rich in plants and insects. In the
summer, birds such as Snipe, Warblers, Water Rail and Little
egret use the area for breeding and feeding. During the winter
migratory birds such as the Brent Goose and Bar-tailed Godwits
use the marshland to shelter and feed.
The Bog of the Ring near Balrothery used to be an extensive
marshland, but is slowly degrading due to drainage works.
The Bog of the Ring still contains pockets of wet and damp
ground where marsh vegetation occurs, but most of the rare
plant species that used to occur here in the past are gone.
This site is used in Winter by Golden Plover, Whooper Swan
and the occasional Short-eared owl.
Want to know more about the plants and animals in our wetlands?
Check out the publications on the Sluice River Marsh and the
Bog of the Ring.