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Special Areas of Conservation

River Foyle and Tributaries

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Northern Ireland
Unitary Authority Northern Ireland
Centroid* H353876
Latitude 54.7361
Longitude -7.4517
SAC EU Code UK0030320
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 771.8
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of River Foyle and Tributaries SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (38.2%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (31.6%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (7.3%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (7.9%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (4.5%)
  • Improved grassland (3%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (5.8%)
  • Coniferous woodland (0.9%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (0.8%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 1106 Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

    The River Foyle and Tributaries is a large, cross-border river in the north-west of Britain and Ireland. The river is notable for the physical diversity and naturalness of the banks and channels, especially in the upper reaches, and the richness and naturalness of its plant and animal communities.


    The river has the largest population of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in Northern Ireland, with around 15% of the estimated spawning numbers. The majority of the salmon returning are grilse (single wintering salmon), with a smaller but important number of spring salmon (multi-wintering salmon) also occurring. Research has indicated that individual sub-catchments within the system support genetically distinct salmon populations.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.