|IPA Factsheet - Clones-Roslea Area|
Site Description Straddling the national border between Clones and Rosslea there are a group of strongly calcareous loughs in a series of kettle hole depressions. Nine species are present, including strong populations of several uncommon species. The range of species present suggests that there is still considerable scope for further investigation in this area especially on the Monaghan side of the border.
Botanical Significance Noted for stonewort interest: KNOCKBALLYMORE LOUGHS (H4726 & 4827): Chara aculeolat, C. curta, C. globularis, C.hispida, C. rudis, C.vulgaris. Also old record for Chara virgata, probably still present. DUMMYS LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H4827: Chara contraria, C.hispida. KILROOSKY LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H4927: Chara aculeolata, C. hispida, C .rudis, Nitella flexilis agg. SUMMERHILL LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H4927: Chara aculeolata, C.hispida, C. virgata, C.vulgaris, C. curta, BURDAUTIEN LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H4928: Chara aculeolata, C.hispida, C. virgata, C. curta, ROSE LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H5129: Chara virgata CROMAGHY LOUGH (H130): Chara virgata ANNACHULLION LOUGH (H130): Chara aculeolata, C. hispida, C .rudis, C. virgata , Nitella flexilis agg. AGHAFIN LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H5229: Chara hispida INVER LOUGH (H5231): Chara contraria DRUMBARROW LOUGH (H5231): Chara virgata. Also old records for Chara aculeolata, C .rudis RATHKEEVAN LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H5330: Chara hispida UNSHINAGH LOUGH (H5532): Chara contraria DRUMACRITTIN LOUGH (H5432): Chara hispida, C .rudis Also old record for Chara aculeolata, CRAWFORDS LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H5532: Chara hispida KILLYVILLY LOUGH (part in Monhagan) H5533: Chara aculeolata, C. hispida (Information from ISA report 2004). The lough exhibits the natural succession from open water to terrestrial vegetation types and includes a number of rare and unusual plant communities, in addition to a number of rare plants. The aquatic vegetation is of particular importance, as it contains one of the most diverse and extensive submerged growths of Stoneworts (Charophytes) found I Northern Ireland. Five species have been recorded, including Bristly Stonewort Chara hispida, Hedgehog Stonewort C. pedunculata, Delicate Stonewort C. virgata, Smooth Stonewort Nitella flexilis and the regionally rare Rugged Stonewort C.rudis. Other species present include large, floating stands of Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea and White Water-lily Nymphaea alba, occasionally accompanied by Shining Pondweed Potamogeton lucens and Broad-leaved Pondweed P.natans. The emergent vegetation consists of a fragmented fringe of Common Club-rush Schoenoplectus lacustris, backed by Common Reed Phragmites australis, and includes small stands of Great Fen-sedge Cladium mariscus and Tufted-sedge Carex elata. Behind the swamp there are scattered areas of calcareous fen, characterised by the predominance of Lesser Tussock-sedge Carex diandra and Long-stalked Yellow-sedge C. viridula ssp. Brachyrrhyncha. The calcareous fetypically grades into a narrow, calcareous marsh, characterised by a rich mixture of sedges and herbs, such as Grass-of-Parnassus Parnassia palustris, Knotted Pearlwort Sagina nodosa, Common Sedge Carex nigra and Carnation Sedge C.panicea. Additional habitat diversity is provided by wet woodland, dominated by Downy Birch Betula pubescens with occasional Goat Willow Salix caprea, and cuyt-over bog. (Information from NI Environment Agency)
General Habitat Description This area is important because of its physiography and associated wetland flora and fauna. It includes the open waters of the loughs and the surrounding marginal vegetation. Biological interest is related to the presence of vegetation wich reflects these calcareous conditions and includes a rich and extensive Stonewort (Charophyte) community. In addition there is a diverse range of habitats and communities. Many of these are species-rich and as a result, the area contains a wide variety of associated plant species.
Conservation Issues Encourage the maintenance of water quality through the contrl of pollution and artifical enrichment. Encourage the maintenance of natural water levels Encourage the maintenance of low intensity agriculture and sympathetic recreational practices around the lough. Recognise the important economic and social roles of fishing and welcome sustainable fishery management. Discourage non-native species, especially those that tend to spread at the expense of native wildlife Encourage the blocking of drains to prevent the fen from drying out Encourage the maintenance of good water quality through the control of pollution and artifical enrichment. Encourage the continuation and extension of very light summer grazing by cattle (or ponies) in order to maintain the more species-rich types of fen vegetation. However, overgrazing should be avoided as the wet soils are particulary susceptible to poaching. Patches of scrub and woodland provide valuable habitats for birds and invertebrates. However, the spread of scrub into the fen could shade out valuable plant communities and cause the fen to dry out. In general, the control of scrub and rank growth can be achieved through the appropriate grazing regime. In some cases, other methods of contrl such as cutting, may be required Maintain the diversity and quality of habitats associated with the fen and open water, such as swamp, scrub and wet grassland through sensitive management. These adjoining habitats can often be very important for wildlife. (North Ireland Environment Agency)