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Definition and Classification of Ireland’s Seascapes

Funding Programme:

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Funding Programme:

European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF)



Completion Year:

Contact Person(s):

Caitriona Nic Aonghusa

Marine Environment | Marine Institute | Rinville | Oranmore | Co. Galway | H91 R673

T (direct) + 353 (0)91 387491 (caitriona[dot]nicaonghusa[at]marine[dot]ie)

Implementation Period:


About the Project:

This project is a part of the Blue Growth & Marine Planning Scheme established under the Union Priority 6 (Integrated Maritime Policy) of Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme.

Seascape is an important element in any maritime nation’s sense of identity and culture. It relates to where and how people value their coasts. As is evident in national tourism statistics, Irish seascapes are especially valued along the Wild Atlantic Way. This project aims to broadly define and classification Ireland’s Seascapes. This will lead to a better understanding of the character and values of the relevant seascapes and provide national baseline information available from which the planning and decision making processes can respond to future changes. As an example, future marine renewable energy developments are likely to impact the seascapes.

Project Objectives:

(i) Understand different regional seascape character areas along the Irish coast;

(ii) Develop character assessments, which describe the key features and characteristics of each seascape character area.

Project Outputs: 

  • A report for the National Marine Planning Framework area that describes the key features and characteristics of each seascape character area (map, overview and key characteristics);
  • A classification of Ireland’s seascapes;
  • Spatial data products that illustrate the national seascape assessment;
  • Use stakeholder engagement to validate, refine and agree on the seascape character assessments.

Expected Benefits: 

The Seascape Character Assessment will support implementation of the national Marine Planning Framework in addition to the National Landscape Strategy. The baseline information about key features and characteristics of each seascape character area will support decision making through the marine planning process.

Project update of 5 October 2020:A Draft Seascape Character Assessment for Ireland has been published and is open for consultation.

Project partners:

  • Minogue and Associates (Lead Partner) (IE);
  • University College Dublin (IE);
  • Aegis Archaeology (IE);
  • Doherty Environmental Ltd (IE);
  • Mr. Ronan Hennessy;
  • Mrs. Eilís Vaughan;
  • Mrs. Deirdre Black.