Hedgerows cover approximately 1.5% of the land area of Ireland and are a very important part of Ireland’s heritage as many have features of archaeological, geological, social and natural heritage.
Fens are peat based wetland ecosystems that are mainly groundwater fed and have a permanently high water table. Fens tend to be small peatland systems occurring around the edges of bogs, adjacent to water bodies or in small depressions.
Local Biodiversity Sites
These sites include all sites which have been designated for the protection of nature, the landscape and amenities. Designated sites for the conservation of nature include Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) along with many others for the protection of flora and fauna.
Peatlands cover approximately 9% of county Westmeath. The main peatland type associated with Westmeath is Raised Bog, which are classified as rain fed, acidic and nutrient poor. The remaining peatlands of Westmeath cover an approximate area of 16,391 hectares and consists of 24 intact raised bog sites, 27 cutover raised bog sites, 24 cutaway raised bog sites and 69 fen sites.
Eskers can be described as a long ridge of gravel along with other sediment, which generally have a winding course, deposited by meltwater from a retreating glacier or ice sheet. There are 46 esker systems in Westmeath which cover an area of approximately 1,681 hectares.