BirdWatch Ireland Reserves

Welcome to BirdWatch Ireland Reserves

BWI reserves wild meadowBWI reserves corncrakeBWI reserves field systems


BirdWatch Ireland maintains a growing network of bird reserves around the country, all located in areas of conservation importance to birds. Our reserves covering a variety of habitats, from rocky islands, to saltmarshes and lakes, through to woods and semi-improved grasslands, are wonderful places to get closer to wildlife. As well as birds, you will be able to see colourful flowers, butterflies and other wildlife. 

As pressure on natural habitats increases, reserves can ensure that some land is managed exclusively in the interests of threatened birds, habitats or wider wildlife. These can be used as a demonstration of the benefits of conservation management, in advocating, for example, for more targeted agri-environment policy, as well as playing a significant role in our campaign to foster public awareness of Ireland's wild bird heritage.

Our work on some of the reserves has been kindly supported through the EU LIFE-Nature programme, the LEADER programme, County Wicklow Partnership, South & East Cork Area Development Ltd, The National Parks & Wildlife Service,The Heritage Council, Fiontar Chomhraic Teo, Dublin Zoo, Vodafone, Google Ireland, various County Councils and local Community Groups as well as other sources, individuals, BirdWatch Ireland Branches and supporters. 

BWI Branch eventsBWI reserves managementBWI reserves infrastructure

Many of our reserves are incorporated into an events programme organised though our branches network. These introduce new members and the general public to the pleasures of birdwatching through guided walks and such events as dawn chorus walks. They also inform on the workings of natural habitats and the need to incorporate conservation principles into land use and development activities. A visit to one of our reserves can offer a unique education resource, for children and adults alike, where as well as seeing and learning about birds, it also offers an opportunity to see other wildlife, from mammals to insects to flowers. For more information on these events, contact BirdWatch Ireland or look on the Branches events pages.

We hope that you visit some of them, either with the branches or in your own company, and enjoy the experience.

Entrance charges to our reserves are free, but donations to help us continue our work on these reserves are welcome. Follow the links below to learn more about each reserve.


Please note that BirdWatch Ireland accepts no liability whatsoever for any accident, injury, loss or damage suffered by any person who visits any of its reserves, howsoever caused. Any person choosing to visit a BirdWatch Ireland reserve does so entirely at his or her own risk.

Please note also that all visitors to any of BirdWatch Ireland’s reserves must comply with all relevant access and permission conditions stipulated by BirdWatch Ireland in relation to each reserve, both contained on this website and on any signs or notices that may be posted at the reserves. Visitors also agree to comply with any restrictions or conditions communicated to them by BirdWatch Ireland, its staff or its authorised volunteers or agents. Any person present on any BirdWatch Ireland reserve who is not in compliance with these conditions will be deemed to be trespassing.

Reserve access arrangements and conditions are liable to change from time to time. Please check this website or contact BirdWatch Ireland to ascertain the arrangements and conditions in force at any given time. 

Capel Island & Knockadoon Head, Co. Cork, 

Cuskinny Marsh, Co. Cork, 

Sheskinmore Lough, Co. Donegal, 

Rogerstown, Co. Dublin, 

 Shenick Island, Co. Dublin, 

 Bishop’s Island, Co. Galway, 

 Small Wood, Co Galway, 

 Little Skellig, Co. Kerry, 

 Puffin Island, Co. Kerry, 

 Illaunmaistir, Co. Mayo, 

 Termoncarragh Lake, Co. Mayo, 

 Termoncarragh Meadows, Co. Mayo, 

 Annagh Marsh, Co. Mayo, 

 Bullock Island, Co. Offaly, 

 Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Co. Wexford, 

 Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, 

 East Coast Nature Reserve, Co. Wicklow