We have a range of protected area designations, representing features of national and international importance, both terrestrial and marine.
You can search for protected areas within Northern Ireland by following the links below where you will find associated guidance and literature.
Searching protected areas
Search for SACs, ASSIS and other protected areas within Northern Ireland.
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are those which have been given greater protection under the European legislation of The Habitat's Directive.
Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are designated under the European Commission Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs)
ASSIs are protected areas that represent the best of our wildlife and geological sites that make a considerable contribution to the conservation of our most valuable natural places.
Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Many Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) are in coastal areas and have marine features.
A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated of international importance under Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention.
Further information on protected areas can be found by accessing the links below and any queries relating to protected areas should be directed to CDP@daera-ni.gov.uk.
- Nature Reserves
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- World Heritage Site
- ASSI Guidance for Public Bodies/Competent Authorities
- Special Areas of Conservation for Harbour porpoise
- Marine Ramsar Sites
- Marine Conservation Zones
- Marine Natura 2000 network (Marine N2K) - Marine SACs and SPAs
- Marine Protected Areas
- Management of Special Areas of Conservation Stakeholder Meetings and Information