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Enhancing Our Natural Wildlife

The Shannon Campus lies in a unique location on the Shannon Estuary, County Clare. The array of flora and fauna in the area is particularly rich, notably in relation to the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries Special Protection Area (SPA). Rineanna ‘Peninsula’ and the airport’s lagoon or ‘Western Drainage System’, lie within the SAC. The airport lagoon is also an SPA and a proposed National Heritage Area (pNHA). Boundary areas between the airport lands and estuary contain Atlantic salt marshes and mudflats, which are in themselves important ecological habitats. The lands north of the SAC boundary also contain pockets of semi-natural and species-rich calcareous grasslands, which continue to be under threat nationally.

Rineanna-Peninsula-1.jpgA series of field surveys were carried out by Flynn Furney Environmental Consultants over four days, in July and September 2022, across The Shannon Campus lands at Shannon, Co. Clare. Detailed desk studies and consultation with various stakeholders were also undertaken during this period. Stakeholders were contacted and included the airport ornithologist and representatives from the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), Birdwatch Ireland and the Heritage Office of Clare County Council. The consultants were mindful of our emphasis on balancing biodiversity enhancement with airport safety throughout.

The overall mission for the Biodiversity Ation Plan is for The Shannon Airport Group to become a biodiversity friendly airport and business campus. The key aims of this biodiversity action plan are to grow the knowledge of the biodiversity present across the Shannon Campus and to protect and enhance it using the most appropriate and eco-friendly methods available.

What is 'Low Mow?'

Low-Mow-2.pngOne of the key actions of this plan is the low mow regime which we have commenced in specific areas of the Shannon Campus. Instead of mowing green areas and verges on a weekly or fortnightly basis, they will be mown just five to six times per year and in some instance just once per year. The cuttings will be collected to ensure the soil is not over-fertilised, as this suppresses flowering meadow species. This cutting method creates short-flowering meadow type habitats which support pollinators. The floral diversity of the verges should become richer over time, transitioning from a few grasses and flowering species like Dandelion, Buttercup and Daisy, to denser patches containing more species such as Clovers, Selfheal, Bird’s-foot-trefoil and Ox-Eye Daisy. The type and abundance of species in each piece of land depends on what is contained within the original seedbank in the ground. It may take 2-3 years for flowers to emerge fully, especially if the area has been regularly mown for a long time previously.

Native species around our Shannon Campus.

1. Bee OrchidBee-Orchid.png


2. Common Spotted Orchidcommon-spoted-orchid.png


3. Pyramidal OrchidPyramedial-Orchid.png

For more information around our Biodiversity Action Plan, please contact our Sustainability Team at

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