The Islands of Roaringwater Bay

Roaringwater Bay is located in the extreme south west of Ireland and derives its name from the sound of the waters, powered by Atlantic gales, crashing against the numerous rocks and islands. Due to the strong influence of the Gulf Stream the climate is moist and mild. Strong winds can be expected, especially in winter but the area experiences little or no frost. Regular sightings of cetaceans include harbour porpoises,
dolphins and whales. Cape Clear, Sherkin, Heir and Long Island enjoy a vibrant community life all year round.

Protecting Our Islands

Roaringwater Bay contains various terrestrial and marine habitats. Five of these habitats are protected because of their importance at a European level. The protected marine habitats are the large shallow inlets and bays, the marine caves and the terrestrial habitats under protection are the heath and sea cliffs. The entire area is considered as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which gives the bay additional protection.

Geological Changes Troughout the Centuries

Most of the islands in Roaringwater Bay are formed from Old Red Sandstone, deposited approximately 350 million years ago during the Devonian age. The outcrops and erosion of these rock formations are responsible for the jagged scenery, which features cliffs and rough rocks.
The entire area was glaciated during the Pleistocene approximately 10,000 years ago. The movements of the ice sheets left scratches on boulders, which are also called striae. Many of the islands contain narrow points, called waists, cutting them nearly in two as a result of sandstone erosion by the sea.

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