Malahide/ Broadmeadow Estuary

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The Broadmeadow river estuary is situated immediately north of Malahide and east of Swords in County Dublin. The site is divided by a railway viaduct and protected from the sea by a large sand-spit. There are sand- and mudflats within the outer estuary. However, inland of the viaduct, only the extreme inner part of the estuary drains at low tide; saltmarsh is present here.

Key biodiversity
This is an important site for wintering waterfowl. Many other species occur in numbers of national importance, including Tadorna tadorna (534 birds, 1995), Bucephala clangula (390 birds, 1996), Mergus serrator (171 birds, 1996), Haematopus ostralegus (1,343 birds, 1995), Pluvialis apricaria (4,000 birds, 1996) and Calidris alpina (1,850 birds, 1996).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Permission has been granted for the construction of a motorway bridge across the most sensitive extreme inner part of the estuary. Infestation of mudflats by non-native cord-grass Spartina threatens habitat quality. The inner estuary is used for water-sports, which may cause disturbance. Housing and marina developments have claimed parts of the outer estuary. The site lies within a proposed candidate Special Area for Conservation (Malahide Estuary; area not known).

Protected areas
National None International HighIBA overlaps with Ramsar Site (Malahide Estuary; area not known). 546 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Broadmeadow/Swords Estuary, 546 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Malahide/ Broadmeadow Estuary. Downloaded from on 23/09/2020.