In 1999 Fingal County Council recognised the exceptional character of Howth by making the Howth Special Amenity Area Order.
The Howth Order was confirmed by the Minister for the Environment on 16th May 2000.
The Howth Special Amenity Area Order protects many of the special qualities of the area and aims to preserve and enhance the character and special features of Howth.
It covers a total of 547 hectares, including Ireland's Eye and the heathland, woods, cliffs, shingle beaches and wooded residential areas of the south-eastern half of the Howth peninsula.
These areas have a rich diversity of flora and fauna and include protected species such as the green-winged orchid, the red squirrel and seabirds such as kittiwakes, guillemots and gannets.
The order also designates a 21km network of public footpaths, which are shown on SAAO Map A.
The Howth Special Amenity Area Order Committee consists of councillors for the area and local groups, and works to protect and enhance the SAAO area.
Minutes of the Committee meetings are available on the Council's website.