North Wicklow coastal marshes

Country/territory: Ireland

IBA Criteria met: B1i, C3, C6 (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 670 ha

BirdWatch Ireland

Site description
A coastal wetland complex, extending for 18 km between Greystones and Wicklow in County Wicklow. A shingle barrier extends the length of the site, protecting brackish and freshwater marsh, estuary fen and wet grassland. Two key wetland areas are Broadlough estuary to the south and Kilcoole marshes to the north. These marshes were empoldered in the late 1980s. A mainline railway track runs along the length of the ridge. This is also an important amenity area.

Key biodiversity
An important site for wintering waterfowl and for breeding terns Sterna. Following empolderment, Kilcoole marshes are now a prime feeding area for Branta bernicla. Other species wintering in numbers of national importance are Anser anser (250 birds, 1997), Anas penelope (1,084 birds, 1996), Anas crecca (500 birds, 1996), Melanitta nigra (200 birds, 1996) and Vanellus vanellus (2,800 birds, 1996).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North Wicklow coastal marshes. Downloaded from on 12/08/2022.