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IPA Factsheet - Garron Plateau
Site code
CountryUnited Kingdom
Administrative regionNorthern Ireland (Antrim)
Central co-ordinates0o 0' N / 0o 0' E map
Area4627
Altitude162 - 376
 

 Site Description The Garron plateau is the largest area of intact blanket bog in Northern Ireland. The peatland complex is comprised of a series of raised and flushed peat bog units, and a number of oligotrophic water bodies, all within an enveloping blanket bog peat mantle.

 Botanical Significance Noted for vascular plants and lichens. The peatland exhibits a number of notable structural features such as large, well developed hummock and lawn complexes, pool complexes and eroding hagg complexes, in addition to quaking bogs and saddle mires. The general bog vegetation is characterised by Sphagnum mosses, ericoid dwarf-shrubs and sedges, with the composition and abundance of these components dependent on local edaphic conditions. Flat water-logged ground is characterised by the prominence of such species as Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix, Bog Asphodel Narthecium ossifragum and Common Cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium, over a lush Sphagnum moss carpet, while on more freely-draining slopes Heather Calluna vulgaris, Crowberry Empetrum nigrum and Hare’s-tail Cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum are more typical. The occurrence of weak flushing by the movement of water through the bog is indicated by the presence of scattered Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea or Bottle Sedge Carex rostrata. When this flushing is concentrated into localised runnels, the vegetation is characterised by small sedge communities, in wich species such as Carnation Sedge C. panacea, Yellow-sedge C. viridula, Glaucous Sedge C.flacca and Twany Sedge C.hostiana are prominent. The site is rich in rare and notable plants including Narrow-leaved Marsh-orchid Dactylorhiza traunsteineri, Bog Orchid Hammarbya paludos, Marsh Saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus, Few-flowered Sedge Carex pauciflora, both Bog-Sedge C. limosa and Tall Bog-Sede Carex magellanica, Parsley Fern Cryptogramma crispa, Oak fern Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Beech Fern Phegopteris connectilis, Alpine Clubmoss Diphasiastrum alpinum and the bryophytes Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum.

 General Habitat Description Several types of upland and base-poor lakes occur on the plateau. The most common lake types are characterised either by the association of Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea with White Water-lily Nymphea alba, or by an association in wich water Lobelia Lobelia dortmanna is prominent.

Land use

Land use% CoverLevel
agriculture (animals)Major
agriculture (arable)Major
agriculture (mixed)Major
agriculture (horticult)Major
fisheries/aquacultureMinor
water managementMajor
nature conservation and researchMinor

Threatened Species

Species NameIPA Assess.Species Assess.AbundanceData qualityCriteria
Saxifraga hirculus L.20072007unknownunknownA(ii)

Botanical Richness

EUNIS level 2 code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.% of indicator speciesNo. SpeciesNational BiotopeData qualityCriteria
D1 Raised & blanket bogs2007200700unknownB

Threatened Habitats

IPA Habitat code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.AreaData qualityCriteria
7130(*) Blanket bogs ( * if active bog)200720070unknownCi
7230 Alkaline fens200720070unknownCii

Protection

DesignationProtected Area NameRelationship with IPAOverlap with IPA
UnknownAntrim Plateau IBAprotected area contains IPA4627
Area of Special Scientific InterestGarron Plateauprotected area contained by IPA4650
Special Area of ConservationGarron Plateauprotected area contained by IPA4627

Management

TypeDescriptionYear startedYear finishes
Species Management PlanSaxifraga hirculus
Species Action Plan (SAP)Saxifraga hirculus
Habitat Management PlanAlkaline fens

Threats

ThreatImportance

 Conservation Issues Natural Euthropic Lake: • Encouragement the maintenance of water quality through the control of pollution and artificial enrichment. • Management of water levels to maintain the most favourable water depths throughout the year for the plant and animas species present • Maintenance of low intensity agriculture to ensure the disturbance to the waters, bed and shor of the lakes and their wildlife. • Recognise the important economic and social roles of fishing and welcomes sustainable fishery management. Woodland: • Avoiding disturbance so the woodland can become more “mature” • Encourage the retention of dead wood both on the woodland floor and still standing in the canopy. Dead wood is a very important habitat for some of the less conspicuous woodland species, such as fungi and invertebrates • Encourage regeneration of woodland and discourage damage to trees and shrubs through the control of grazing. • Where necessary, encourage the blocking of drains to prevent the wood from drying out. Purple Moor-grass and rush pastures: • Encourage low intensity grazing and cutting for hay followed by light aftermath cattle grazing to contribute to the conservation and enhacement of the grassland • Maintainance of the diversity and quality of the species-rich grassland (no application of fertiliser, slurry or herbicide to the site) Fern and Swamps: • Where necessary, encourage the blocking of drains to prevent the wood from drying out. • Encouragement the maintenance of water quality through the control of pollution and artificial enrichment • Where feasible, encourage the grazing of fen and swamp although overgrazing should be avoided as the wet soils are particularly susceptible to poaching.

Contact Information

ContactContact Type
Beth Newman Site report compiler