The Campaign to Save the Birds Directive

and the Habitats Directive


Thank you to everyone who helped with this campaign. Your support was invaluable!

Read the BirdWatch Ireland press release on this epic result from an epic campaign.


Irish Businesses Support EU Nature Laws: Read More here

11,000 people send a #NatureAlert Thunderclap!

And Call on EU to improve Nature Law Implementation

On May 16th 2016 over 11,000 people sent a message via Facebook and Twitter to EU Commissioner Vella and EU Commission Vice President Timmermans that our Birds and Habitats Directives are critical for protecting nature and that we need better implementation instead of weakening these laws. Over 400 Irish people were involved with the Thunderclap.

Learn about BirdWatch Ireland's Termoncarragh Reserve and SPA, Co. Mayo

Learn about BirdWatch Ireland's East Coast Nature Reserve at Blackditch SPA and SAC, Co. Wicklow


Find your closest Natura 2000 site in Ireland

Do you live near a Natura 2000 site? Type in an address below and find out!

Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected areas in Europe, created to protect our most beloved wildlife and unique landscapes. The map below allows you to find nature sites around you. Type any address or city in Europe to find out!



Save our Nature

Save Our Nature Campaign Update - December 2015

Calling SMEs to stand with the Birds and Habitats Directives

Save Our Nature/Nature Alert Campaign Results

The public consultation phase of the Save Our Nature Campaign resulted in 520,325 people calling for the protection of the Birds and Habitats Directives in Europe smashing all public consultation records in the European Union. In Ireland 7,694 people signed the petition to protect the Directives. Relative to population size this puts Ireland as sixth in terms of support for the Directives. To everyone who sent their support, THANK YOU so much. We now have a strong basis to continue with the next phase of the Campaign. More news soon! 

What is the Save Our Nature Campaign all about?

Nature in Ireland has benefitted enormously from the European Union’s nature laws, which are incorporated into Irish law.  These EU laws are the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.  If we didn’t have these EU directives, we believe that nature in Ireland would be in a bad state.

These EU laws are under threat as part of a review of by the European Commission, called the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).  This process could lead to their weakening and eroding the benefits they provide to people and the environment.  We need you to do something about it.

Listen to BirdWatch Ireland's Niall Hatch on RTÉ Radio One's Mooney Goes Wild programme explaining why people who care about nature need to take action to prevent the dismantling of EU wildlife laws
(First broadcast on Sunday 17th May 2015)

BirdWatch Ireland believes that if we did not have these laws in Ireland:

  • We would not have an appropriate level of protection for birds, animals, fish, insects, plants and their habitats. Ireland is already bottom of the class, ranking a dismal 28th out of all 28 EU Member States in 2010 according to a report prepared by BirdLife International.  Unfortunately, 92% of our EU-protected habitats (peatlands, grasslands, estuaries etc.) have ‘bad’ or 'inadequate' status.
  • Ireland would not be nearly as attractive a destination for tourists.  Our landscape and nature are in the top reasons why people come to Ireland for holidays.
  • We would not have the valuable benefits of biodiversity to the Irish economy, currently conservatively valued as being worth at least €2.6bn to the Irish economy in ecosystem services.
  • Our agriculture, fisheries, and tourism sectors depend on biodiversity employing 117,000 people would be diminished.
  • We would have undermined the most productive fishing grounds in the EU (Ireland’s!), which generate over 900,000 tonnes of fish with an estimated landed value of €1.04 billion.
  • We would have destroyed 600,000 ha of wetlands in Ireland, and a freshwater angling sector that involves 406,000 anglers generating annual expenditure of €555 million per annum.
  • The once common Corncrake would have gone extinct (currently there are fewer than 200 calling males, they are making a small recovery in remote parts of the North West).

Thank you for your support and for making your voice heard.

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