Ireland is fortunate that it still retains many sites that have a unique character and support important elements of Ireland’s biodiversity. Picking a top ten was an extremely difficult process as there are so many sites to choose from, each with its own unique features. Nonetheless, here are Biodiversity Ireland’s suggestions for 10 sites that we think should be on anyone’s ‘bucket list’ who wants to experience the best of Ireland’s biodiversity.

River Shannon at Clonmacnoise

River Shannon at Clonmacnoise
The River Shannon is one of the last remaining relatively untamed rivers in Western Europe. Its natural flow supports an immensely important freshwater and riparian biodiversity, including many species and habitats that are protected under nature conservation laws because of the rarity across Europe. The broad floodplain at Clonmacnoise, with patches of remaining seasonally flooded grasslands (or callows), species-rich esker grasslands and adjacent to some of the most important remaining raised bogs, makes this a special place (Photograph: Alamy).