The CatchmentCARE project

The CatchmentCARE project aims to establish three cross-border, fresh water quality improvement projects in the Finn (Donegal—Tyrone); the Arney (Fermanagh-Leitrim-Cavan); and the Blackwater (Armagh-Tyrone-Monaghan) Catchments; as well as installing 51 boreholes across the region.


River Works

Caring for River Catchments – Pressures and Solutions
Caring for River Catchments – YouTube Video
Riparian works to improve water quality
Improvement works on the Cummirk River, Finn Catchment

River Works in Blackwater Catchment
One of the main outputs of the CatchmentCARE project is to deliver a range of riparian and in-stream works aimed at helping improve existing water quality across the project’s three catchments.

Riparian and in-stream works around the Ballygawley area, which suffers badly from silt deposition / runoff and excessive nutrient loading.

‘Ballygawley Phase 1’ will entail a range of measures being implemented, including:
– Installing fencing along rivers to help decrease erosion of banks by cattle;
– Supplying and installing livestock drinkers for local farmers;
– Installing field gates and stiles to provide access for farmers and local user groups;
– Planting native species of trees and riverside vegetation to help stabilise riverbanks and create a buffer strip between the river and agricultural land;
– Installing bank revetments and other in-stream works such as rubble mats and flow deflectors (to create a more diverse flow and habitat in the river channel). This work will involve partnership with DEARA Fisheries.

Funding €13,792,435 (ERDF & MATCH)

LEAD PARTNER: Donegal County Council

Start Date: 01/10/2017

End Date: 31/10/2022

Public RFT – A Multi-Supplier Framework for the Provision of Groundwater Monitoring Borehole Drilling Works for CatchmentCARE Project

Condition Assessment for Bogs in Northern Ireland

Source: Conservation Science Team, Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Attached spreadsheet detailing the condition assessment results for bogs in Northern Ireland

All bogs which are designated as Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) have been included in the latest NIES report.

You will find the location of all of these to view at the NIEA map viewer Natural Environment Map Viewer | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs ( and to download from Open Data NI at Areas of Special Scientific Interest – Datasets – Open Data NI

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has responsibility for the designation, monitoring, reporting and management of Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) that are that are designated under The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002.

DAERA aims to carry out a rolling programme of ASSI feature monitoring and reporting every six years in support of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1995 (Northern Ireland) (as amended), The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, and The Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) guidance states that the features that are to be monitored are the interest features for which the site has been notified or designated.

They include habitat types, species and earth science features, as well as complex features such as habitat mosaics and species assemblages.

Each interest feature must be identified, monitored, assessed and reported upon separately.

DAERA follows JNCC Common Standards Monitoring when undertaking condition assessment

Northern Ireland environmental statistics report

An annual compendium which reports on a range of environmental indicators and provides links to government strategies.

This report contains environmental indicators covering seven key themes: Public Attitudes, Climate Change, Air, Water and Marine, Biodiversity and Land, Waste and Historic Environment.

Water and Marine

Key points in this chapter:
• Of the twenty-five inshore coastal waterbodies delineated in Northern Ireland, 13 (52 per cent) have been assessed at good or better ecological condition.
• In 2021 soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) was measured at 93 surveillance rivers across Northern Ireland giving an average concentration of 0.071 mg/l of phosphorus per litre of water. This was 0.024 mg/l more than the lowest figure reported in this time series, 0.047 mg/l in 2012.
• Water pollution incidents are investigated by Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). In 2021 there were 1,893 incidents reported to NIEA or discovered by NIEA during inspections, of which 871 (46 per cent) were substantiated (confirmed) as having an impact on the water quality of the receiving waterway. Of these, 14 per cent were considered to be of High or Medium Severity.
• Five out of nine designated shellfish water protected areas (SWPAs) complied with the Water Framework Directive guideline E. Coli standard in Shellfish Flesh in 2021.

Long-term seasonal trend analysis shows that the monthly trends in average nitrate concentrations in rivers in Northern Ireland are predominantly decreasing or stable over the 28-year period, 1992-2019, which may be attributed to the measures implemented through the Nutrient Action Programme.

Farming (29 per cent), accounted for the largest proportion of substantiated pollution incidents investigated