To protect wetlands, we need to be able to identify them.

If you discover a wet, soggy or spongy patch on your land, it could be a wetland.

Wetlands are found wherever the water table is close to the soil surface, or in areas prone to flooding. They can be areas where ponding occurs and remains, and where springs emerge.

If you have a wetland on your property, you have an important role in the protection of this valuable resource.

Wetland identification guide

Wetlands range from those that are permanently wet, to some that are only wet for parts of the year. Check out our photo ID guide, which displays some of the key plants to look out for.

You can request a hard copy of this ID guide by emailing us at

Natural Wetland identification 

Identification can be tricky as no two wetlands are the same, and some can even dry out from time to time!

The process to identify a natural wetland is set out in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP).  Schedule F3 of the PNRP lists some but not all wetlands.  You are likely to need specialist help to identify a natural wetland, and you will need to follow certain rules to protect it.   

Get in touch for free advice at

Wetland Technical Determination

Further information on the more technical aspects of wetland identification, we have a Wetland Technical determination guide.

We know wetland identification is often difficult. If you require further help, please get in touch with us through as we can assist with specialist advice.

Frequently asked questions

Get the answers to some of the most common questions people have about wetlands.

Updated February 25, 2022 at 12:42 PM

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