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 seriously polluted.

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.
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