North Slob

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North Slob

An Slaba Thuaidh
Natural Reserve
North Slob seawall
North Slob seawall
North Slob is located in Ireland
North Slob
North Slob
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°23′N 6°23′W / 52.38°N 6.38°W / 52.38; -6.38Coordinates: 52°23′N 6°23′W / 52.38°N 6.38°W / 52.38; -6.38
CountyCounty Wexford
−3 m (−10 ft)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))

The North Slob is an area of mud-flats at the estuary of the River Slaney at Wexford Harbour, Ireland. The North Slob is an area of 10 km2 (2,500 acres) that was reclaimed in the mid-19th century by the building of a sea wall.[1]

2 km2 (490 acres) of this reclaimed land is a nature reserve that is jointly owned and managed by BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve (Irish: Anaclann Éanlaith Fiáin Loch Garman).[1][2] The reserve is open to the public.


The North Slob provides the winter home for 10,000 white-fronted geese, about one third of the world population, which migrate to Greenland for the summer months .[3]

International recognition[edit]

The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve was designated a Ramsar site in 1984. The North Slob is part of the Wexford Harbour Special Protection Area of 27.34 km2 (10.56 sq mi; 6,760 acres).

Guinness World Records[edit]

Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records has its origins in the North Slob. On 4 May 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries,[4] was on a shooting party in the North Slob when he became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the koshin golden plover or the grouse. That evening at Castlebridge House he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird.[5][6] He knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs in Britain and Ireland, but there was no book with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular.

The North Slob featured on the Open University and BBC's Coast Programme.[7]


  1. ^ a b Wexford Slobs on Birdwatch website
  2. ^ Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Co. Wexford
  3. ^ Flora and Fauna of Wexford Sloblands on the Ask About Ireland website
  4. ^ Guinness Book of Records collectors' web-site
  5. ^ Early history of Guinness World Records Archived 2007-07-01 at the Wayback Machine, p. 2
  6. ^ Richard Cavendish (August 2005). "Publication of the Guinness Book of Records: 27 August 1955". History Today. 55.
  7. ^ Wexford to Killiney Coast, Series 4, Episode 6,