North Bull Island
North Bull Island is located in the Dublin Bay, just 7 km north-east of Dublin City center. It represents a small island, 5 km in length, built up over 200 years ago against a man-made sea wall.
Declaration date: 1981
Administrative division: Parks and Landscape Services Division, Dublin City Council
Surface area: 1,008 ha
Core area: 80 ha
Buffer zone: 186 ha
Transition area: 742 ha
North Bull Island is located in the Dublin Bay, just 7 km north-east of Dublin City center. It represents a small island, 5 km in length, built up over 200 years ago against a man-made sea wall. The biosphere reserve is significant from a conservation perspective since it supports well-developed salt marshes and dune systems displaying all stages of development from the earliest phase of colonization to stable and full maturity. The area is also important for nesting and wintering waterfowls and is also designated as a Ramsar site.
The major habitats and land cover types are saltmarsh with glasswort (Salicornia dolichostachya and S. europaea), Puccinellia maritima and sea lavender (Limonium humile); sand dune complex with saltwort (Salsola kali), sea rocket (Cakile maritima), sea couchgrass (Agropyron junceiforme) etc.; beaches; lagoonal sand flat; lagoonal mud flats with algae such as Enteromorpha intestinalis, E. compressa and Ulva lactuca.
In addition to its ecological value, the island has an important educational and recreation function valued by school classes and day visitors from Dublin. Two golf courses are situated on the island and there are some boating activities in the adjacent waters. In applying the biosphere reserve concept, the ambition is to reconcile the multiple uses in this small area.
> Back to Biosphere Reserves in Ireland
Last update: August 2013