HNV Farming & Biodiversity
Aran Islands (Ireland)
Natura site names: Inishmore Island, Inishmaan Island & Inisheer Island (all SAC)
Natura Code: IE000213, IE000212, IE001275
The three islands of Aran, Inis Mór (eng. Inishmore), Inis Meáin (eng. Inishmaan) and Inis Oírr (eng. Inisheer) are a fragmented reef of the Burren region of northwest County Clare in Ireland, forming a breakwater across the mouth of Galway Bay. Irish is the first language of the people, making the islands a strong Gaeltacht area. The type of agricultural practised has created a High Nature Value system containing a mixture of rare Irish and European habitat types including Orchid rich grassland/Calcareous grassland (6210), Lowland hay meadows (6510), Limestone pavement (8240), European dry heaths (4030) and Machair (21A0) Over 75% of the total land area is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive.
Text: P. McGurn
© Photos: P. McGurn