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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019

Ireland really is the garden of Europe, survey finds

Ireland is covered in the highest proportion of grassland in Europe, says Eurostat survey.

Mountains and grassland in Killarney
Mountains and grassland in Killarney

MORE THAN TWO thirds of Ireland is covered by natural or agricultural grasslands, meaning Ireland is covered in the highest proportion of natural vegetation out of any country in Europe.

More than 67 per cent of the country is covered in natural grassland, followed by the United Kingdom with 40 per cent, the Netherlands at 38 per cent, Luxembourg at 37 per cent and Belgium at 32 per cent.

Land survey

The Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union based the findings on a large scale land survey, the Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey (LUCAS) which was conducted in 2012.

In terms of forest or wooded areas, just 13 per cent of Ireland is covered in woods while just 5 per cent of land cover is crop land.

Only 2 per cent of Ireland is covered in ‘built-up and artificial areas’ which includes roofed constructions, such as buildings and greenhouses, non-built up areas, such as yards, car parks, cemeteries and linear features, such as roads and rail networks.

This is one of the lowest in all of Europe, with only countries like Latvia and Bulgaria showing similar results.

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