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Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are areas designated under the EU Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) for the protection of certain bird species.

This 5 year programme is targeted specifically at farmers with land designated for the protection of breeding Hen Harrier in Slieve Beagh, Slieve Bloom Mountains, Slieve Felim to Silvermines Mountains, Slieve Aughty Mountains, Stacks to Mullaghereirk Mountains, West Limerick Hills & Mount Eagle and Mullaghanish to Musheramore Mountains Special Protection Areas (SPAs).In 2007, under Article 4 of the Birds Directive, six Special Protection Areas (SPAs) covering a total land area of c.167,117 hectares were classified for the conservation of the Hen Harrier.

All lands within the Hen Harrier SPAs with the exceptions of active turbary, buildings (and their curtilage), farmyards and commercial forestry are eligible to be considered for payment. Payment for the provision of linear strips of wild bird cover and the establishment of hedgerows are the only case where payments will be made on undesignated lands. Leased or rented land must have been declared on the applicant’s 2017 Basic Payment Scheme application.



To view the Map Viewer ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) provide a map viewer tool to outline where all the protected sites are within the country. Once the map has loaded, use the + / - cursor to zoom to your region. If your land is within a coloured grid, the site is designated by NPWS. Click the Identify button on the top tool bar of the map viewer and then click on the coloured grid...the 'Query' box on the right hand side will tell you what the designations are. If your land is within any of the six SPAs listed above, you are eligible to apply for the Programme. Use the following link to connect to the map viewer.


To be eligible for the Hen Harrier Programme applicants must be: