Is there a CGS near you?

Questions and answers about what it means to live on or close to a County Geological Site.  If there are other questions you think should appear here or if you have specific questions in relation to your CGS, please contact us.  

If you would like to see the County Geological Sites close to you, please browse our webviewer to explore the sites in your County or area of interest.

Do you live on or close to a County Geological Site (CGS)?

County Geological Sites have been identified and approved for twenty-seven local authority areas, and the shapefile for each CGS in the webviewer is linked to the report for that site. You can also see the reports on our County Audit page. Ireland has a long and complicated, but infinitely interesting, geological history, and sites of national and international geological importance in your area are something of which you should be proud. Geology and its expression on the landscape is part of who we are and we see it in your places names , our mythology, and our culture. The geology of Ireland has contributed to the international understanding of our science and as Ireland is such a recently glaciated country, and early work on glacial landforms took place here, the Irish language has contributed words, such as esker and drumlin, to the science of glaciology. 

Remember, most County Geological Sites are on private land and you have no right to visit them without the permission of the owner.

Are you planning on carrying out work on or close to a CGS?

As part of your planning application or Environmental Impact Assessment, you should always check for County Geological Sites on or near your development location. CGSs are included in County Development and County Heritage Plans and are protected under their respective county policy.  The presence of a CGS should not be a hindrance to your planned development as work often enhances County Geological Sites.  You should consult with the Geoheritage Programme at the GSI or your County Heritage Officer, particularly if your County has already been audited.   We may ask for copies of reports, any geological data your development work produces, an invitation to visit the site to get new pictures of the CGS or carry out some academic research if this is relevant.  We can also advise on ways to share geological information on the site with the general public.  

Are you the owner of a CGS location?

If you are fortunate enough to own the land containing a County Geological Site but have no wish to develop on or near it or use it for the extraction of materials - just enjoy that you have a site of national scientific importance on your land.  Ireland is one of the most mapped countries in the world as it was mapped firstly by the Ordnance Survey which was established in 1824 and by the Geological Survey which was established in 1845. All parts of the country are accessible and its relatively small size means that it is possible to map the country in detail.  The geology is well understood and due to our location in relation to plate tectonic history, we have a long and interesting geological history.  Great effort has gone into identifying locations suitable for County Geological Site status and they are usually the best examples of each of the themes.

Are you interested in your local geoheritage?​

We are always delighted when people are interested in their local geoheritage. The geological history is the long history of the country and is something of which you should be proud. The landscape of Ireland is all from the last glaciation over 12,000 years ago and the presence of lakes, rivers, mountains, and plains have contributed to our culture of storytelling, songs and poetry. The soil is derived from the underlying rocks and farming methods and food comes from the local soil and position in the landscape. As geoheritage is now part of County Heritage Plans, we advise local authorities on how best to promote their local geology and landscape either for geotourism projects or for local information. Some counties have produced books on their local geology or have held exhibitions. We are always happy to help and support any local authority or community group who wish to promote or learn more about their local geology. We also run events at various times of the year, particularly during the annual National Heritage Week in August.

If you would like to see the County Geological Sites close to you, please browse our webviewer to explore the sites in your County or area of interest.