Our Natural Heritage includes the variety of life all around us. The Heritage Act (1995) defines natural heritage as including flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, inland waterways, heritage gardens and parks.
Natural Heritage can be described in terms of its biological diversity or "biodiversity", which is the diversity of plants and animals and the habitats or landscapes where they are found. The biodiversity that we see today is a result of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and increasingly by the influence of human beings. Biodiversity plays a vital role in human health as we are dependant on the natural environment to provide us with the essentials of life such as food, medicine, fresh water, clean air, recycling of nutrients and places to visit to enhance our spiritual well being.
County Cavan has a landscape filled with a rich and varied flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, heritage gardens, parks, inland waterways and a unique geological makeup. Our natural heritage is valuable for its social, educational and recreational benefit but also as a major resource for the development of tourism and economic development, whilst contributing to the quality of life for the people of Cavan and visitors alike.
There are a number of designated sites to protect areas of natural heritage importance in County Cavan. These include: Natural Heritage Areas (NHA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), and Ramsar Sites.