Horn Head

Horn Head is located near Dunfanaghy in north-west Donegal. There are a number of important habitats in the area such as quartzite cliffs, mud and sand flats, dunes and the salty New Lake area. There is an abundance of wildlife in this relatively undisturbed area, and as a result it is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).


Marine plants that grow along the cliffs include Thrift, Sea Campion and Rock Samphire. Corn Cockle and Scot’s Lovage, which are both listed in the Irish Red Data Book, also grow in the area. The Irish Red Data Book lists all threatened plant and animal species in Ireland

Large and noisy colonies of seabirds breed on the cliffs at Horn Head. The most common species is the Razorbill. In addition, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Shags, Puffins and Cormorants all make these cliffs their home. Less common are Choughs and Peregrine Falcons, which are protected species under the EU Birds Directive. Grey Seals also frequent the waters around Horn Head.


A wide range of plant life is supported in dune system along this coast. Marram Grass, Lady’s Bedstraw, Red Clover, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil can all be found growing here. Meadow-rue has been recorded at the dunes, which is a rare plant species in Ireland .

New Lake

The New Lake area to the south of Horn Head is an important wintering site for Greenland White-fronted Geese, as well as a nationally important population of Barnacle Geese. Other waterfowl recorded here include Pochard, Wigeon and Tufted Duck. It is run as a Wildlife Sanctuary by the Wildlife Service.

previousPrevious - Trees & Plants
Next - Islandsnext