Irish Uplands Forum

As plants and animals in the uplands must be able to tolerate extreme conditions its biodiversity has unique characteristics. Plants must be able to tolerate extreme acidity, low levels of mineral nutrients and changes in temperature and even exposure to snow. Because plant productivity is very low, animal diversity is very limited and little food is available for animals. The plants and animals which you will encounter are survivors. The following guide gives you an introduction to the biodiversity you might encounter.

Where are the Uplands in Ireland?

Map of the Irish Uplands

In Ireland, “uplands” regions are generally considered as anything over 300m above sea level, and we also include areas in the west of Ireland such as the Burren and South Connemara the uplands descend to sea level. Other uplands areas in the west of Ireland include Nephin Beg, Croagh Patrick, and the Mweelrea Mountains the rest of the country, upland areas include the Wicklow Mountains to the east, the Galtees to the south, and the South-West uplands which include Carrauntoohil, the Macgillycuddy Reeks and the Slieve Mish mountains. To the north, the North-western uplands includes Ox Mountains, and the Antrim Mountains and the Mourne mountains in the North-East.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service funded the development of the Irish Uplands Forum Upland Biodiversity webpages through the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2023.