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 https://natura2000.eea.europa.eu/).
- ‘Lady’s Island Lake – an introduction and overview’ leaflet
- ‘Cutting the Lake at Lady’s Island’ leaflet
- ‘Water quality at Lady’s Island Lake’ leaflet
- ‘The Three Lagoons’ leaflet
- ‘Water level at Lady’s Island Lake, 1984-1996’ report
- ‘Wildlife at Lady’s Island Lake’ leaflet
- ‘Rostonstown’ leaflet
- CLEAR letter to the Editor, 19 December 2022
Note. The SWC Promotions eircom email address and 053 ‘phone number given in some older leaflets are no longer active; please use the ‘Contact’ tab to get in touch. Thank you. Also, the new telephone number for Tony Murray, NPWS Conservation Ranger, is 01 539 3212.