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County Kilkenny

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanillas ©Ashley Beolens Website

County Kilkenny is a landlocked county in Ireland. The county takes its name from the city of Kilkenny and has a population of 87,558. It is located in the south-east of the island of Ireland in the province of Leinster and has borders with the counties of Laois, Carlow, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary. The River Nore flows through the county and the River Suir forms the border with County Waterford. Brandon Hill is the highest point with an Elevation of 515 m (1,690 ft).

Weatherwise County Kilkenny is generally representative of wide river valleys in the region with low temperatures on cloudless nights. Overall, the county has a mild, but changeable, Oceanic climate with few extremes. Kilkenny is significant in that it records some of the highest summer and lowest winter temperatures in Ireland.

Fiddown Island is 62.6 (ha.) a Nature Reserve established in 1988. It consists of a long narrow island of marsh/woodland on the River Suir. It is covered in willow scrub and bordered by reed swamps - the only known site of its type in Ireland.

In 2005 Coan Bogs was defined as a Natural Heritage Area under section 18 of the Wildlife Act 2000. The blanket bog consists of two small areas of upland blanket bog located near Castlecomer in the townlands of Coan East and Smithstown. Bedrock geology for both areas is shale overlain locally by glacial till and blanket bog vegetation is well developed.

Other Special Areas of Conservation include Hugginstown Fen south-west of Ballyhale, The Loughans near Urlingford, Cullahill Mountain on the Castlecomer plateau near Johnstown, Spahill Hill And Clomantagh Hill which forms part of an escarpment which links the Slieve Ardagh Hills with the Castlecomer Plateau,, Galmoy Fen north of Johnstown, Lower River Suir south of Thurles, the freshwater stretches of the Barrow/River Nore and Thomastown Quarry.



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