S.I. No. 194/2012 - European Communities (Conservation of Wild Birds (Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area 004076)) Regulations 2012.

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 12th June, 2012.

I, Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving further effect to Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 and Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 (as amended by Council Directive 97/62/EC of 27 October 1997, Regulation (EC) No. 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003, Council Directive 2006/105/EC of 20 November 2006 and as amended by Act of Accession of Austria, Sweden and Finland (adapted by Council Decision 95/1/EC, Euratom, ECSC), Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded and as amended by the Corrigendum to that Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992)), hereby make the following Regulations:

1. (1) These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Conservation of Wild Birds (Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area 004076)) Regulations 2012.

(2) These Regulations come into operation on 16th May 2012.

2. (1) In these Regulations—

“Directive” means Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009;

“farm or land management plan” means an agreement between the holder of any estate, right or interest in land within the Special Protection Area and the Minister or the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the purposes of, inter alia, compliance with the Directive and Council Directive No. 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, this may take the form of:

(a) either a plan under the Farm Plan Scheme or management agreements administered by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, or

(b) a Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) plan, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, or

(c) measures taken as part of the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS), administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, or

(d) any similar or successor plan or scheme;

“foreshore area” means the bed and shore, below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides, of the sea and of every tidal river and tidal estuary and of every channel, creek and bay of the sea or of any such river or estuary;

“Minister” means the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht;

“public authority” means:—

(a) a Minister of the Government;

(b) a local authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37 of 2001); or,

(c) a board or other body (but not including a company under the Companies Acts) established by or under statute;

“Special Protection Area” or “SPA” means the area which is designated under Regulation 3;

“waterbird” means any bird ecologically dependent on a wetland habitat wholly, or for at least part of their annual cycle;

“wetland” refers to areas of habitat containing water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or marine.

(2) A word or expression that is used in these Regulations and is also used in the Directive shall, unless the contrary intention appears, have in these Regulations the meaning that it has in the Directive.

3. In order to ensure the survival and reproduction of the species to which Article 4 of the Directive relates, including in particular the species specified in Schedule 3 and having taken account of the matters referred to in Article 4 of the Directive, the area referred to in Schedule 2 and further identified by reference to the map contained in Schedule 1, is designated as a Special Protection Area.

4. (1)(a) The indicative map contained in Schedule 1 showing the boundary of the Special Protection Area shall be drawn to such convenient scale as the Minister thinks fit and the Minister shall seal the map and shall deposit it in the offices of the Minister.

(b) The Minister may prepare more detailed maps, in such convenient number of separate sheets as the Minister thinks fit, showing the boundary of the Special Protection Area and shall seal each of the maps and shall deposit them in the offices of the Minister. Any dispute involving the boundary of the Special Protection Area shall be determined by reference to maps prepared under this subsection.

(2) The said maps when so deposited in the said offices of the Minister shall be retained in such office and such maps, or true copies thereof, shall be open for inspection free of charge in such offices by any person at any time at which such offices are open for the transaction of public business, and it shall be lawful for the Minister to prepare and supply to any person requesting the same a true copy of the map or maps so deposited with the Minister or any particular part or sheet thereof and to charge for such copy such sum as the Minister may fix.

5. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person shall not perform any operation or activity specified in Schedule 4 within the Special Protection Area without the prior written consent of the Minister.

(2) There is no requirement to obtain the consent of the Minister if:—

(a) the operation or activity is licensed by or subject to the permission of another public authority, or

(b) the operation or activity is specified as permitted in a farm or land management plan (subject to compliance with any conditions set out therein).

6. (1) Any person who contravenes Regulation 5(1) commits an offence and is liable:—

(a) on summary conviction to a Class A fine or imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.

(2) A summary offence under these Regulations may be prosecuted by the Minister.


7. (1) The European Communities (Conservation of Wild Birds) (Amendment) Regulations 1998 ( S.I. No. 154 of 1998 ) are repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)—

(a) any civil or criminal proceedings brought under the Regulations revoked in paragraph (1) and pending when these Regulations come into operation may be continued as if they had been brought under these Regulations.

(b) any document, notice, decision, act or thing issued, made or done by the Minister under the Regulations revoked in paragraph (1) shall continue to have full force and effect on and after the commencement of these Regulations.

(c) any act, decision or other thing commenced but not completed by the Minister under the Regulations revoked in paragraph (1) may be continued and completed by the Minister under these Regulations.





The area known as Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area 004076 is situated in the county of Wexford being the land and waters enclosed on the map (contained in Schedule 1) within the inner margin of the red line and hatched in red. The area of land known as Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area 004076 is situated in whole or in part in the townlands of Ardcanrisk, Ardcavan, Ardcolm, Artramon, Assaly Great, Assaly Little, Ballinacoola More, Ballinamorragh, Ballyboggan Lower, Ballybro, Ballydicken Lower, Ballydusker, Ballyharran Lower, Ballyhoge, Ballyla, Ballynacarraig, Ballyregan or Fairyhill, Ballytramon, Barnahask, Bearlough, Beggerin Island, Big Island, Bogganstown Lower (E.D. Drinagh), Bogganstown Lower (E.D. Rosslare), Borrmount, Brownswood, Burgess, Burrow (E.D. Rosslare), Carrigmannon, Churchtown (E.D. Kilscoran), Cooraun, Cornwall, Craanagam, Crosstown (E.D. Ardcavan), Cullentra (E.D. Carrick), Curracloe, Deeps, Drinagh Intake, Drinagh North, Drinagh South, Edermine, Ferrybank North, Ferrybank South, Ferrycarraig, Ford of Ling, Garrygibbon, Grange (E.D. Drinagh), Grange Big, Grange Little, Heathfield, Hopeland, Islafalcon, Island (E.D. Rosslare), Jacketstown, Jamestown (E.D. Edermine), Johnstown (E.D. Ardcavan), Kilgibbon, Killiane, Killiane Little, Killowen (E.D. Kilpatrick), Killurin, Kilmisten, Knockahone, Knottown, Kyle Lower, Lake Big, Lake Little, Mackmine, Maudlintown (Maudlintown Ph.), Mauritiustown, Muchknock, Mullaun (E.D. Edermine), Newtown (E.D. Carrick), Newtown Lower (E.D. Kilpatrick), Northeast Slob, Northwest Slob, Orristown, Park (E.D. Wexford Rural), Polehore, Polldarrig, Pollrankin, Rathdowney (E.D. Rosslare), Reddina, Redmondstown (E.D. Edermine), Rocksborough, Rosslarefort, Saunderscourt, St. John’s, Stephenstown, Stoneybatter, Strandfield, Talbotstown, The Raven, Tikillin, Tincone, Tincoone, Tomlane, Townparks (E.D. Rural Wexford Urban No. 2), Townparks (E.D. Wexford Urban), Townparks (St. John’s Ph.), Warren Lower and Woodtown (E.D. Rosslare).



Bird Species

Scientific Name

Common Name

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Great Crested Grebe

Phalacrocorax carbo


Ardea cinerea

Grey Heron

Cygnus columbianus bewickii

Bewicks Swan

Cygnus cygnus

Whooper Swan

Anser albifrons flavirostris

Greenland White-fronted Goose

Branta bernicla hrota

Light-bellied Brent Goose

Tadorna tadorna


Anas penelope


Anas crecca


Anas platyrhynchos


Anas acuta


Aythya marila


Bucephala clangula


Mergus serrator

Red-breasted Merganser

Circus cyaneus

Hen Harrier

Fulica atra


Haematopus ostralegus


Pluvialis apricaria

Golden Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Grey Plover

Vanellus vanellus


Calidris canutus


Calidris alba


Calidris alpina


Limosa limosa

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

Bar-tailed Godwit

Numenius arquata


Tringa totanus


Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Black-headed Gull

Larus fuscus

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Sterna albifrons

Little Tern



1. Reclamation, including infilling.

2. Blasting, drilling, dredging or otherwise removing or disturbing rock, minerals, mud, sand, gravel or other sediment.

3. Cutting, uprooting or otherwise removing plants. [Consent is not required for harvesting of cultivated crops, or for grazing or mowing.]

4. Introduction, or re-introduction, of plants or animals not found in the area. [Consent is not required for the planting of crops on established reseeded grassland or cultivated land.]

5. Construction or alteration of tracks, paths, roads, bridges, culverts or access routes.

6. Burning, topping, clearing scrub or rough vegetation or reseeding. [Consent is not required for these activities on established reseeded grassland or cultivated land provided it is greater than 20m from a river, stream or floodplain; or greater than 50m from a wetland, lake, turlough or pond.]

7. Drainage works including digging, deepening, widening or blocking a drain, watercourse or waterbody.

8. Water abstraction, sinking of boreholes and wells.

9. Planting of trees or multi-annual bioenergy crops.

10. Any activity intended to disturb birds, including by mechanical, air, gas, wind powered or audible means.

11. Developing or consenting to the development or operation of commercial recreational/visitor facilities or activities.

12. Off-road recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles.

13. Harvesting marine invertebrate species in intertidal areas.

14. Driving mechanically propelled vehicles in intertidal areas, except over prescribed access routes.


GIVEN under my Official Seal,

16 May 2012.


Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

Directive 2009/147/EC (O.J. L 20/7 of 26 January 2010) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 (“the Birds Directive”) on the conservation of wild birds provides for the conservation of wild birds by, among other things, classifying important ornithological sites as Special Protection Areas. The hyperlink http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/sites_birds/index_en.htm which connects to the European Commission Environment (Nature and Biodiversity) website also contains a further link to the text of the Birds Directive.

The effect of these Regulations is to designate a site as a Special Protection Area in accordance with Article 4 of the Directive. The geographical area of the Special Protection Area designated by these Regulations is defined by Schedule 1 (a map or maps of the area) and Schedule 2 (a list of the townlands in question / a description of the area). For more detailed maps than those contained in Schedule 1, or for greater detail on boundary delineation, contact should be made with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht by telephoning 1-800-405000 or by viewing the relevant text or map details on www.npws.ie.

The bird species cited in Schedule 3 of these Regulations are specified, in accordance with the Directive, in order to ensure their survival and reproduction in their area of distribution. Under Article 5 of the Directive all species of birds are afforded protection from disturbance, capture and damage to nests and eggs, not just the birds listed on Schedule 3 (with the exception of those birds covered under Articles 7 for hunting and 9, where derogations are listed).

Those operations or activities requiring the consent of the Minister listed at Schedule 4 to these Regulations are cited for their potential to cause disturbance or damage to the bird species and their habitats specified in Schedule 3 of these Regulations. Landowners or occupiers should contact the local National Parks and Wildlife Service office of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht before undertaking any of the works listed at Schedule 4. (See www.npws.ie for contact details). Please note that operations/activities other than those listed at Schedule 4 to these Regulations, such as effluent discharge, construction work, aquaculture, fishing or forestry require a licence or permission from the appropriate consent authority.

These Regulations provide (Regulation 6) that contravention of the provisions of these Regulations shall constitute an offence. Regulation 6 also provides for penalties.