Lady’s Island Lake

Lady’s Island Lake is among the biggest and best examples in Ireland of a sedimentary lagoon. The site supports an exceptional diversity of plant and animal life including the highest number of lagoonal specialists recorded in any lagoon in the country.

The largest mixed colony of breeding terns in Ireland is found on islands in the lake. The colony includes the Roseate Tern, the rarest breeding seabird in Europe. Islands in the lake also support a large number of nesting Black-headed Gulls. The site has one of the highest diversities of breeding wildfowl species in the country and is of high conservation importance.

The critically endangered Cottonweed plant survives on the fringing gravel barrier separating the lagoon from the adjoining eastern Celtic Sea. The rare plant is not found growing anywhere else in Ireland or Britain.

Lady’s Island Lake is Special Protection Area (SPA) site code IE0004009 for Gadwall (a greyish brown dabbling duck), Black-headed Gulls, four species of tern, and wetland and waterbirds in general. The lake is also Special Area of Conservation (SAC) site code IE0000704 for its lagoon, the reefs at Carnsore Point, and the vegetated shingle on the barrier that separates the lake from the Celtic Sea (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Lady’s Island Lake SPA (above left) and Lady’s Island Lake SAC (above right). (Source: Standard Data Forms (SDFs) for Lady’s Island Lake on the European Environment Agency (EEA) Natura 2000 (N2k) Network Viewer at

Further reading

Note. The SWC Promotions eircom email address and 053 landline ‘phone number given in some older leaflets are no longer active; please use the ‘Contact’ tab to get in touch. Thank you. Also, Hazel Doyle is the current NPWS Conservation Ranger for south Co Wexford; her mobile phone number is 085 805 4304 and her email address is