Lament over the Ruins of Teach Molaga

When is a coastal poem not a coastal poem? Should the author of a West Cork poem have visited West Cork? James Clarence Mangan’s “Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey at Teach Molaga” presents us with these and many other questions, and seems a good start to our Deep Maps blog series on ‘West Cork Poems’.

Lament over the Ruins of Teach Molaga

Abbildung 1 Timoleague Abbey at Sunset (Scully, 1880)

First published in The Nation the 8th August 1846, Mangan’s lyric poem in twenty quantrains gives dramatic voice to an unnamed figure who wanders at the edge of an estuary, at the head of which sits the ruined abbey of Timoleague (Teach Molaga). Expressing sorrow and loss, the speaker laments the former unity of a building and community destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in the seventeenth century. Mangan’s own experience of famine-struck Ireland surely contributes to the abiding atmosphere of change and loss.

The title of the original poem, “Machtnamh an Duine Dhoilgheasaig, nó Caoineadh Thighe Molaga”, translates as “Musings of a Lonely Person, or Lament for Timoleague”. Expressing sorrow and loss, the speaker laments the former unity of a building and community destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in the seventeenth century. The original poem was written in 1816, at the end of the Napoleonic wars and the outset of a period of bleakly cold weather that affected the Atlantic seaboard in the aftermath of the eruption of the Indonesian volcano of Tambora (the so-called “year without a summer”). Meanwhile Mangan’s own experience of famine-struck Ireland surely contributes to the abiding atmosphere of change and loss.

            Alas! alas! how dark the change!

Now round its mouldering walls, over its pillars low,

The grass grows rank, the yellow gowans blow,

   Looking so sad and strange!

It is highly unlikely that the Dublin-born Mangan ever visited either the city or county of Cork. Apprenticed as a copyist and a clerk, Mangan was a legal scrivener until 1838, when he was appointed to the office of the Ordnance Survey. In the 1830s, he came to know scholars and antiquarians such as John O’Donovan (the original for the character of Owen in Brian Friel’s play Translations), George Petrie, and Owen Connellan. They gave him with raw translations of Irish language poetry and in the process inspired some of his greatest works, including “Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey at Teach Molaga”.

Abbey of Timoleague Ruins
View of the tower crossing from the cloister which connected the domestic offices with the church.

The poem’s topography encompasses a drowned river valley, where the Argideen River empties into the Courtmacsherry estuary on its way to the sea. The estuary is currently designated a Special Area of Conservation because of its distinctive mudflats, sandy and shingle beaches, reedbeds and tideline vegetation.

In an early topographical description of the Cork coast, Charles Smith observes that Courtmacsherry estuary is located two miles from the mouth of the sea, “on an arm of the ocean” (1815, 242). Smith describes how the Argideen “glides” in sinuous and intimate relationship to the building that it “washes” along a semi-circular coastline. The winding, serpentine shape of the estuary is also captured in Gabriel Beranger’s late eighteenth-century drawing of the castle, abbey, and town of Timoleague.

I turned away, as toward my grave,

And, all my dark way homeward by the Atlantic’s verge,

Resounded in mine ears like to a dirge

        The roaring of the wave.

The drifting, sweeping, gliding, and washing of a body of water that is comprised of both river and sea has caused critics of the poem to lose their bearings. In a classic discussion of the poem, David Lloyd says that “contrary to what the various versions imply, the map will show that Timoleague is not on the edge of the sea” (2016, 94). More recently, the critic Cóilín Parsons queries the placing of Mangan’s poem and argues that it confuses literary and real geographies by situating Timoleage Abbey not ‘on the tranquil bend of an estuary” but on the “edge of the roaring Atlantic”(1987, 105).

Perhaps these ambiguities and errors mirror the poet’s own uncertain grasp on the place that he represents. As an employee of the Ordnance Survey, Mangan knew Cork best on paper. While John O’Donovan travelled around the island, Mangan was engaged in clerical work in Dublin. As the office of the Ordnance Survey was being wound up in 1841 and 1842, Mangan was copying down information about Cork, including material relating to different townlands and passages from early modern documents.

Just as the Mangan’s experience confuses distinctions between intimate and official kinds of knowledge, so the mixed marine environment imagined in the poem does not allow for a defined difference between river and sea, or silence and sound. We continue to read his poem because of its ability to express questions, and provoke debate, not only about definitions of estuaries and coast, but also about the ways in which the natural world has changed over time.

Claire Connolly

References

Lloyd, D., 1987. Nationalism and Minor Literature: James Clarence Mangan and the Emergence of Irish Cultural Nationalism. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Parsons, C., 2016. The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Smith, C., 1815. The Ancient and Present State of the City and County of Cork. 2 vols. Cork.

West Cork Poetry Series

A guiding principle of the Deep Maps project is the value of cultural responses to coastline. In this blog series we investigate a series of poems that take us to different places along the West Cork coast, paying particular attention to Munster’s rich eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetic traditions in both Irish and English. What can poetry bring to our apprehension of the West Cork coast? How can the poetic language of the past shape or alter our understanding of environmental challenges in our own time? Perhaps poetry slows us down, asking us to imagine times and places other than our own, in language other than that of our everyday encounters, within distinctive literary forms that tell their own stories.

The title of Rachel Carson’s classic work of environmental writing, Silent Spring, was inspired by a line from John Keats’ poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci”: “The sedge is wither’d from the lake, And no birds sing.” Carson found in Keats not the facts of the environmental damage done by pesticides but rather a resonant set of sounds and images that capture the intpenetration of human and natural worlds. In reading through the poems selected for this blog, we have wondered whether similar forms of inspiration can be found in the literature of the West Cork coastline. We invite readers to draw their own conculsions, and to add to our store of poems.

The poems featured in this blog series introduce readers to a body of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish writing. Many of the poems lament highly specific forms of loss — personal, political, historical and natural — and do so in language that testifies to the resilience of culture in the face of change. Poetry is a rich and sustainable resource, inviting us to think afresh about our coasts in all their complexity.

  • James Clarence Mangan (1803-1804)
  • Jeremiah Joseph Callanan (1795-1829)
  • Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
  • Anonymous
  • Jeremiah Joseph Callanan (1795-1829)
  • Denis H. O’Sullivan
  • Anonymous
  • Jeremiah Joseph Callanan (1795-1829)

Claire Connolly

Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga (James Clarence Mangan)

 ‘Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga’*

(Translated from the Original Irish of John O’Cullen, a Native of Cork, who Died in the Year 1816).

 

I

    I wandered forth at night alone

Along the dreary, shingly, billow-beaten shore;

Sadness that night was in my bosom’s core,

    My soul and strength lay prone.

II

    The thin wan moon, half overveiled

By clouds, shed her funereal beams upon the scene;

While in low tones, with many a pause between,

    The mournful night-wind wailed.

III

    Musing of Life, and Death, and Fate,

I slowly paced along, heedless of aught around,

Till on the hill, now, alas! ruin-crowned,

    Lo! the old Abbey-gate!

IV

    Dim in the pallid moonlight stood,

Crumbling to slow decay, the remnant of that pile

Within which dwelt so many saints erewhile

    In loving brotherhood!

V

    The memory of the men who slept

Under those desolate walls—the solitude—the hour—

Mine own lorn mood of mind—all joined to o’erpower

    My spirit—and I wept!

VI

    In yonder Goshen once—I thought—

Reigned Piety and Peace: Virtue and Truth were there;

With Charity and the blessed spirit of Prayer

    Was each fleet moment fraught!

VII

    There, unity of Work and Will

Blent hundreds into one: no jealousies or jars

Troubled their placid lives: their fortunate stars

    Had triumphed o’er all Ill!

VIII

    There, kneeled each morn and even

The Bell for Matin—Vesper: Mass was said or sung—

From the bright silver censer as it swung

    Rose balsamy clouds to Heaven.

IX

    Through the round cloistered corridors

A many a midnight hour, bareheaded and unshod,

Walked the Grey Friars, beseeching from their God

    Peace for these western shores.

X

    The weary pilgrim bowed by Age

Oft found asylum there—found welcome, and found wine.

Oft rested in its halls the Paladine,

    The Poet and the Sage!

XI

    Alas! alas! how dark the change!

Now round its mouldering walls, over its pillars low,

The grass grows rank, the yellow gowans blow,

    Looking so sad and strange!

XII

    Unsightly stones choke up its wells;

The owl hoots all night long under the altar-stairs;

The fox and badger make their darksome lairs

    In its deserted cells!

XIII

    Tempest and Time—the drifting sands—

The lightning and the rains—the seas that sweep around

These hills in winter-nights, have awfully crowned

    The work of impious hands!

XIV

    The sheltering, smooth-stoned massive wall—

The noble figured roof—the glossy marble piers—

The monumental shapes of elder years—

    Where are they? Vanished all!

XV

    Rite, incense, chant, prayer, mass, have ceased—

All, all have ceased! Only the whitening bones half sunk

In the earth now tell that ever here dwelt monk,

    Friar, acolyte, or priest.

XVI

    Oh! woe, that Wrong should triumph thus!

Woe that the olden right, the rule and the renown

Of the Pure-souled and Meek should thus go down

    Before the Tyrannous!

XVII

    Where wert thou, Justice, in that hour?

Where was thy smiting sword? What had those good men done,

That thou shouldst tamely see them trampled on

    By brutal England’s Power?

XVIII

    Alas! I rave! . . . If Change is here,

Is it not o’er the land? Is it not too in me?

Yes! I am changed even more than what I see.

    Now is my last goal near!

 

XIX

    My worn limbs fail—my blood moves cold—

Dimness is on mine eyes—I have seen my children die;

They lie where I too in brief space shall lie—

    Under the grassy mould!

*   *   *   *

    I turned away, as toward my grave,

And, all my dark way homeward by the Atlantic’s verge,

Resounded in mine ears like to a dirge

    The roaring of the wave.

 

  • Literally ‘The House of (St.) Molaga, and now called Timoleague. Our readers will find its position on the Map of Munster’

-Reference-

James Clarence Mangan, ‘Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga’*

(Translated from the Original Irish of John O’Cullen, a Native of Cork, who Died in the Year 1816).

Heritage Week 2017

Heritage Week is upon us again and the Deep Maps team will be participating in a range of events over the coming days, that will cater to all ages!

Ellen Hutchins Festival 

As part of the Ellen Hutchins Festival which runs in tandem with National Heritage Week events, our Deep Maps research assistant, Breda Moriarty will be talking about Deep Maps: West Cork Coastal Cultures on Monday 21st August. In this talk Breda will explore human responses to marine resources, using literary, archaeological and visual sources from Bantry Bay. This talk will take place at 8pm in the Park Hotel, Glengarriff. Be sure to check out the full programme of events which includes tours, botanical art demonstrations and seaweed specimen identification on Whiddy Island!

 

Deep Maps Exhibition Guided Tour

If you have not had a chance to visit our Deep Maps exhibition currently on display in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, be sure to attend our guided tour on Wednesday, 23rd August! This exhibition focuses on the deep mapping of the West Cork coastline from Timoleague to Bantry Bay. Taking visitors on a journey from traditional cartography through objects of cultural value and scientific inquiry, it seeks to enrich our knowledge of the diverse ways in which culture connects us with our marine environment.

Touch Tanks at Lough Hyne

Deep Maps will be attending the annual ‘Touch Tanks at Lough Hyne’ event held in conjunction with Skibbereen Heritage Centre and U.C.C. School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences. This event will take place from 11:30-1:00pm, and will give participants an opportunity to interact with, and learn about the range of marine creatures at the Lough. For more information visit the Heritage Week website or contact Skibbereen Heritage Centre. Be sure to join us on Twitter and Instagram this Thursday as we revisit our time at the Touch Tanks event last year!

National Parks and Wildlife Service

National Parks and Wildlife Service

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Heritage Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. They oversee areas of:

  • Policy and management of Parks and Reserves, Nature Service strategy, Finance and regional operations including enforcement
  • Wildlife Acts and EU Directives, “Licensing provisions under the Wildlife Acts, Modernisation of property management, Policy on residential properties in national parks and the Departments Development Applications Unit”
  • Peatland Policy, Turf compensation and relocation schemes, and Land Designation and Restoration
  • “Scientific Support, Biodiversity policy and international issues, CITES and exotic species, Agri-Environment policy and schemes, Marine and aquaculture issues, Education Service and Data management” (www1)

South West Cork comes under the Southern Division of NPWS, where the Science and Biodiversity Department perform crucial work in the areas of Marine and Habitats, Conservation Systems and Informatics, and Species and Aquatics. Without this work, Irish ecosystems would be without the level of protection said to be needed by governments, scientists and the public alike. NPWS secure the conservation of a 38 whole range of ecosystems (including the marine) by maintaining and enhancing the native flora and fauna of Ireland. They are key in the designation of SACs and SPAs.

Starfish at Lough Hyne (Orla-Peach Power)

They ensure proper implementation and enforcement of EU Policy and Directives, and the ratification of international conventions and agreements. Furthermore, without NPWS it would be increasingly difficult to maintain, manage and develop National Parks and Reserves, like Lough Hyne. Through education, public outreach, and stakeholder engagement, NPWS are also helping to raise awareness for the importance of biodiversity and natural heritage. It is due to the rigorous workings of government and international policy makers, through services like NPWS that the mounting pressures on the coastal marine environment can be alleviated. Without correct definition and enforcement of environmental policy and legislation, conservation of biodiversity and protection of valuable ecosystem services would not be possible

Sean

-References-

www1 – About the National Parks and Wildlife Service

Policy & Legislation: National Biodiversity Action Plan

National Biodiversity Plan 2002
DAHGI 2002

It is not just the EU that are influencing environmental conservation and protection in Ireland. The Irish government, have created and adopted their own policies. One such policy is the National Biodiversity Action Plan. First launched in 2002, as part of the 1976 Wildlife Act, its 91 Actions integrates all other European and international conservation directives (DAHGI, 2002). The National Biodiversity Action Plan defines three levels at which biodiversity conservation can be considered:

  1. Ecosystem Diversity
  2. Species Diversity
  3. Genetic Diversity
National Biodiversity Action Plan 2011-2016
DAHG 2010

A second, amended National Biodiversity Action Plan was introduced for the 2011-2016 period with 102 Actions focusing on, not only biodiversity, but also ecosystem services (DAHGI, 2010). Four categories of ecosystem services are defined within the legislation. The first of these is provisioning services, such as food, the second is regulating services, such as climate change, thirdly is supporting services, like nutrient cycling, and finally, cultural services, like recreation. This piece of legislation grants environmental protection both within and outside of designated protected areas.

This legislation demands that environmental protection and conservation is made a priority in governmental decisions. It further aims to increase base knowledge of current environmental issues and threats, promote public awareness and participation in conservation, and to represent Ireland’s contribution to international conservation efforts. A third Action Plan will begin formulation in 2016, to come into effect in 2017, taking into account the 6 target areas of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. These 6 targets are:

  1. Full Implementation of all EU Directives
  2. Maintain and restore ecosystem services
  3. Increase the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintain and enhance biodiversity
  4. Ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources
  5. Combat invasive, alien species
  6. Help avert global biodiversity loss

Through correct and effective implementation of these Action Plans, the state of the Irish coastal marine environment, and the environment in general, will continue to improve. However, without the efficient enforcement, it can all be for nothing. This is where organisations like the National Parks and Wildlife Service are vitally important for continued conservation of Irish biodiversity.

Sean

 

References

DAHGI (2002) National Biodiversity Plan. Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.

DAHG (2010) Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016. Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

DAHG (2015) Interim Draft Review of the Implementation of Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016. Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Policy & Legislation: Nitrates Directive

European Commission Environment

The Nitrates Directive

Although not directly related to the coastal marine environment, the Nitrates Directive is directly related to one of the aforementioned major issues: eutrophication. This regulation has been in place since 1991, and deals with the protection of water quality from agriculture derived pollution, and the promotion of good farming practices. The Nitrates Directive establishes rules and management constraints on the application of livestock manure and fertilisers, through a series of four year Nitrate Action Plans (NAP). It was given legal effect in Ireland as part of the EU Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters. The third Irish NAP came into effect in 2014, with updated and amended policies, and will conclude in 2017. As each EU member state is required to review their NAP’s every four years, Ireland’s current Action Programme will be reviewed for a fourth time during 2017. Each Member State’s NAP must include (WWW1):

  • A limit on the amount of livestock manure applied to the land each year
  • Set periods when land spreading is prohibited due to risk
  • Set capacity levels for the storage of livestock manure
Nitrates Directive Slurry Spreading
Slurry Spreading (WWW2)

Irish Slurry Calendar

In County Cork, manure cannot be spread between October 15th and January 12th, based on decisions made by consultation between public bodies, farmers and the European Commission. Further limitations were put in place based on weather conditions. Fertilisers cannot be spread if land is waterlogged, flooded or at risk of flooding, frozen, or if high rainfall is expected within 48 hours. By sticking to these constraints, farmers have greatly helped reduce the amount of run-off driven eutrophication in Irish waters.

Nitrates Directive Slurry Calendar
Ireland’s Slurry Calendar (WWW3)

Derogation Order

In order to meet the growing demands of the dairy and beef industries, intensive farmers have also been allocated an increased allowance of the weight of fertiliser permitted to be applied to an area of farmland, from 170kg/ha to 210kg/ha annually.  This derogation is of critical importance to the dairy industry and Food Harvest 2020 expansion plans in Ireland (WWW1). Enforcement of this directive is strictly regulated by local authorities, set out by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and the Marine.

Seán & Orla-Peach

References

WWW1 – Nitrates Action Plan

WWW2 – Slurry Spreading

WWW3 – Ireland’s Slurry Calendar 

Marine Strategy Framework Directive

European Commission Environment

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is based on achieving Good Ecological Status (GES), but specifically for marine waters. Adopted on 17 June 2008, and written into Irish legislation in 2011 the Directive further aims to have GES established by 2020. In order to achieve GES by 2020, each Member State is required to develop a strategy for its marine waters (WWW1). Through State, academic, and private consultancy advice and research, the MFSD aims to apply an ecosystem based approach to the management of human activities, while still maintaining sustainability of marine resources for future generations.

Marine Strategy Requirements

For this reason, marine strategies include (ibid.):

  • The initial assessment of the current environmental status of national marine waters (refer to WWW2)
  • The environmental impact and socio-economic analysis of human activities in these waters (refer to WWW2)
  • The determination of what GES means for national marine waters
  • The establishment of environmental targets and associated indicators to achieve GES by 2020
  • The establishment of a monitoring programme for the ongoing assessment and the regular update of targets
  • The development of a programme of measures designed to achieve or maintain GES by 2020
  • furthermore, the process is cyclical and the second cycle starts again in 2018 .

Key Factors

Several factors are considered under the Directive as part of this ecosystem based approach :

Biodiversity Invasive Species
Eutrophication Exploitation of Fish stocks
Food Webs Emerging Contaminants (i.e. Hormone Medications, Agricultural Run Off, Untreated Sewage etc.)
Marine Litter  Seafloor Integrity

Tackling these factors, will help alleviate many of the major pressures being placed upon the coastal marine environment. However, before any ecosystem based approach can be undertaken member states must conduct an initial assessment of each of the above factors. In light of this,  an initial assessment was carried out in a 500,000 kmarea surrounding Ireland’s coastline. Generally speaking, the major issues identified during assessment were the exploitation of fish stocks by commercial fishers and nutrient enrichment (including eutrophication) (Marine Institute, 2013). European member states re-evaluate this process every 6 years, with the definition of GES being constantly improved. This process, subsequently allows for new information to be incorporated so all targets, characteristics, and indicators can be further improved and reviewed.

Seán & Orla-Peach

 

References

Marine Institute (2013). Ireland’s marine strategy framework directive article 19
summary report initial assessment, GES and target and indicators.

WWW1 – Legislation: The Marine Directive

WWW2 – Ireland’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive Article 19

The Water Framework Directive

European Commission Environment

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) provides legal structure to protect and restore clean water across Europe and ensure its long-term, sustainable use (DOE, 2015). This WFD integrates agriculture, industry, and spatial planning, and impacts on many other existing pieces of legislation.

The WFD was the result of ongoing investigation into water quality, which began in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This culminated in quality objective legislation on fish waters, shellfish waters, bathing waters and groundwaters. Despite the European Water Policy undergoing a thorough restructuring process in the last 30 years, concern over water quality is still very much evident  among communities, scientific and environmental organisations.

Flash Eurobarometer Report

In 2012 for example, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment requested 25,524 European citizens aged 15 and above be interviewed by telephone. Interviews were conducted to gauge public opinion on issues relating to water conservation and establish whether awareness of water issues had improved over time (WWW1).

Flash Eurobarometer Results
Level of information about problems facing groundwater, lakes, rivers, and coastal waters (WWW2 p.6)

The results of this survey showed that ‘75% of Europeans consider that the EU should propose additional measures to address water problems in Europe with the main focus of such measures on water pollution from industry and agriculture’ (WWW2). 67% of participants additionally felt that they were not well informed on issues affecting water quality. Participants felt that greater emphasis on dissemination of information was one of the best solutions to tackle this environmental issue collaboratively.

European Commission Flash Eurobarometer Water Frameworks Directive
Tackling Water Problems (WWW2 p.17)

Aims and Objectives

The WFD is unique in that it establishes a framework for the protection of all waters and their dependent wildlife/habitats under one piece of environmental legislation (WWW3). This directive aims to :

  1. protect/enhance all waters (surface, ground and coastal waters)
  2. achieve “good status” for all waters by December 2015
  3. Manage water bodies based on river basins (or catchments)
  4. Involve the public
  5. streamline legislation

River Basin Management Plan

The Birds, Habitats, and Nitrates Directives, coupled with regulations on drinking water, bathing waters, and urban waste are all key factors within the Water Frameworks Directive, as well as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. A major requirement of Member States within the Water Frameworks Directive is the preparation of River Basin Management Plans, comprised of three, five year planning cycles. Ireland is currently within the second of these planning cycles.

  • 1st Cycle River Basin Management Plans: 2009-2014
  • 2nd Cycle River Basin Management Plans: 2015-2021
2nd Cycle River Basin Management Plan Water Frameworks Directive
River basin districts of second cycle of WFD (2015 – 2021) (WWW3)

These plans are laid out with the goal of achieving Good Ecological Status (GES) of all waters. Ireland will begin its second cycle in 2017. This cycle is behind schedule and so the next cycle will last 4 years rather than 5. Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has also called for submissions, observations and comments on the current draft plan for 2018 – 2021.

At the time of writing (3/2016), 63% of Irish coastal waters (1 nautical mile from land) were deemed to be in “High” ecological status. The majority of riverine and transitional waters were also deemed to be in a “Moderate” status. Additionally, 73% of Irish rivers have been classified as “unpolluted” as of the last cycle. This is comparatively better than that of most other European countries. In essence, the efficient implementation of this framework, could greatly help the conservation of the coastal marine environment.

Seán & Orla-Peach

References

WWW1 – Eurobarometer Overview

WWW2 – Flash Eurobarometer Report

WWW3 – River Basin Management Cycles

The Habitats Directive

The European Commission for the Environment

The Habitats Directive was adopted by the European Union in 1992, and is based around the protection and conservation of all habitats, and the flora and fauna of all Member States. It aims to maintain biodiversity while taking account of all social, economic, cultural, and regional aspects of each country. Working in conjunction with the Birds Directive, a further five annexes have been laid out separately within this piece of legislation.

Badger Profile Habitats Directive
Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images (WWW1)

Habitats Directive Annexes

The five Annexes included in the Habitats Directive are:

  • Annex I demands the definition of each individual habitat type and the features of interest within them.
  • Annex II covers roughly 900 species of plant and animal, specifying that sites must be managed with the ecological need of each species as paramount.
  • Annex III enforces both site and species specific assessments, while defining the importance of the habitat to the local community.
  • Annex IV enforces a strict protection regime across the entire range of a species, both within and outside of designated areas.
  • Annex V ensures that any exploitation or taking of species is compatible with favourable conservation status.

Another factor of the The Habitats Directive includes the implementation of Species Action Plans to restore and maintain populations of particular species. Furthermore, all Member States must provide regular reports on the status of their habitats and species, and on any compensatory measures put in place by the State. The Directive is constantly improved and amended based on the advice of a specialised Habitats Committee. However, from a marine perspective, habitat conservation and protection can only be effectively carried out by ensuring clean and suitable water quality. This was the reason for the establishment of directives such as the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Seán

-References-

WWW1 – Badger Profile