The Cuilcagh-Anierin Uplands Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is a blanket bog site covering 9,735 hectares (ha), comprising 11 habitats and 7 species protected under the Habitats and Birds Directives. The site is part of the EU INTERREG Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN) project, a wetlands conservation project being delivered by partners in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Erosion, peat-cutting, burning, invasive conifer encroachment and unmanaged recreation are the primary threats to the site. Restoration actions are being driven through a results-based agri-environment payment scheme (RBPS) whereby farmers receive funding in exchange for improving habitat quality and biodiversity.
The RBPS programme is delivered through the Common Agricultural Policy by locally-based ACRES CP teams. WaterLANDS is assisting farmers undertake restoration measures to improve their RBPS payments. The focus is on integrated land use for the delivery of enhanced ecosystem services including water quality, climate regulation and biodiversity.