Download Boundary Data

National Parks and Wildlife Service designated area spatial data has been updated as of July 2023

Changes to site boundaries and additional sites, since the data was last published in May 2023, are listed below.


Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

County Sitecode Sitename Version
Co. Kerry 000375 Mount Brandon SAC 3.01
Co. Mayo 001922 Bellacorick Bog Complex SAC 3.01
Co. Leitrim and Co. Sligo 001976 Lough Gill SAC 3.01
Co. Clare, Co. Cork, Co. Kerry, Co. Limerick and Co.Tipperary 002165 Lower River Shannon SAC 3.03
Co. Mayo, Co. Roscommon and Co. Sligo 002298 River Moy SAC 3.03


Special Protection Areas (SPA)

County Sitecode Sitename Version
Co. Dublin, Co. Louth and Co. Meath 004236 North-west Irish Sea cSPA 3.00


NPWS has begun the process of bringing our spatial data into the ITM projection on modern OSI mapping.

These ITM boundaries will be made publicly available once they have been passed into legislation as Statutory Instruments (SI). 

This process will be on-going over the next few years.

NPWS spatial data is now available for download as shapefiles only. Each designation type will have a national shapefile in the Irish Transverse Mercator (ITM) projection.

The SAC and SPA shapefiles now contain a mixture of legacy Irish Grid/1:10,560 and modern ITM/1:5000 data. Most of the data was digitized in the Irish Grid (IG) projection on the OSI ‘Six-Inches-to-One-Mile’ map series.

Our legacy IG/'Six Inch Series' data has been transformed from IG into ITM using the NTv2 polynomial transformation.  Legacy issues regarding the Cassini projections and gaps/overlapping of site boundaries across county boundaries remain.

One exception to this are a number of offshore SAC sites are now available for download in WGS84 (as part of the SAC shapefile download) - these sites are between 100km and 400km offshore approximately.

Changes to the site boundaries are listed in the document 'Changes_to_NPWS_Spatial_data.doc' which is included in each relevant zip file.

The Irish Spatial Data Exchange catalogue will be the main reference point for all NPWS and Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage GIS dataset metadata. End users are encourage to consult ISDE for our latest data updates.

GIS dataset downloads

Designation Update Date ISDE Metadata Record Download Dataset
Special Area of Conservation (SAC) 17/07/2023 Link to ISDE metadata record SAC_ITM_2023_07 (ZIP, 25MB)
Special Protection Area (SPA) 17/07/2023 Link to ISDE metadata record SPA_ITM_2023_07 (ZIP, 11MB)
Natural Heritage Area (NHA) 28/06/2019 Link to ISDE metadata record NHA_ITM_2019_06 (ZIP, 2MB)
proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA) 01/11/2015 Link to ISDE metadata record pNHA_ITM_2015_11 (ZIP, 20MB)


There have been some changes to the attribute fields.

  • Ha: Area of site in hectares.
  • Source_CRS: Co-ordinate Reference System used in digitizing the source data (ITM or Irish Grid).
  • SourcScale: Scale of base-mapping used (1:5000 or 1:10,560 which corresponds to 6 inches to 1 mile).

GIS Web Services for NPWS Designations

OGC Web Map Service:

ArcGIS REST Web service:


For bulk summary data on Natura2000 sites visit the Designated Site Data Page for SACs and SPAs.