Nature Reserves in County Fermanagh

There are many nature reserves on Forest Service land in County Fermanagh.

Aghagrefin (FNR)

The reserve consists of a low lying bog which has been extensively used for turf cutting in the past. Difficulties with drainage now prevents further cutting. Rocky outcrops form ridges running ENE/WSW through the area.

Vegetationally the reserve is a very varied. Wet areas support a wide variety of Carex and Sphagnum spp while small pools of permanent water have led to the development of colonies of reedmace TyphaTypha and water horsetail Equisetum. Birch woodland, with some hazel, rowan and holly has formed on the dried ridges. Further colonisation by tree species is likely. Mallard, snipe and woodcock frequent the area in winter.

Map reference: H210657, 2 miles NE of Kesh
Hectares: 40
Varied vegetation on cut-over bog
Access from north and west boundaries from public road
May-July

Aghatirourke (FNR)

The area lies on upper mountain limestone of the Lower Carboniferous series. Solution features are common with a swallow holes, gullies and small areas of limestone pavement. In the sheltered gullies scrub woodland occurs with ash, hazel and rowan being predominant but also including some oak, yew and juniper. Dense rank heather covers most of the intervening land.
The archaeological site at Myalla consists of the remains of a number of stone circles and a double chambered cairn (1800 BC) and a cashel dating from 0-1500 AD.

The upper part of the area extending SW to the summit of Cuilcagh (684m) is largely blanket bog with a typical western flora culminating in steeper slopes below the summit.

Aghatirourke Forest Nature Reserve is now included in the Marble Arch Caves European Geopark under a joint management agreement between Fermanagh District Council, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Forest Service.

Map reference: H161315, 9 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 695
Limestone geomorphological features, bog, archaeological site
Access on foot from Florence Court Forest Park or public car park at Gortalughany
Spring and summer

Bolusty Beg (FNR)

The reserve provides a good example of pool and hummock bog.
The hummocks are largely composed of Rhacomitrium and the pools are rich in Sphagnum spp. Both sundews, Drosera rotundifolia and D. anglica occur.

Map reference: H050569, 4 miles NW of Derrygonnelly.
Hectares: 6.8
Pool and hummock complex box
Access on foot via forest road from Lough Navar Scenic Drive
All year
 

Carricknagower (FNR)

The reserve is in two sections, the smaller, 8.5 ha, to the west comprises Carricknagower lake, associated marsh and steep sandstone boulder and cliff faces. Wintergreens grow on the cliff face, a variety of sedges Carex spp and sundew Drosera are found in the marsh.

The larger eastern section has scarp and dip topography with the dip slopes maintaining typical wet moorland vegetation with butterwort Pinguicula lusitanica present. Major north facing cliffs support the rare filmy fern, Hymenophyllum tumbrigense. There is another small lake, Lough Naman, which provides good wildfowl habitat.

Map reference: H012544, 7 miles NW of Derrygonnelly.
Hectares: 86
Upland vegetation, lakes, marsh and cliff
Access on foot from public road to south west
All year

Castle Archdale Islands (NNR)

The reserve consists of three islands, Iniskmahill, Cleenishmeen and Cleenishgarve which provide examples of relatively undisturbed mixed deciduous woodland on glacial drift in the Lower Lough Erne basin.


Map reference: H158588, 4 miles W of Irvinestown.
Hectares: 39
Map reference: H148607
Hectares: 1.6
Map reference H155603
Hectares: 12
Native woodland on drift soils
Access only possible Spring and summer 
 

Castlecaldwell (NNR)

The reserve is an outstanding example of the development of a swamp/fen/carr complex in response to the changes to the water levels in Lower Lough Erne. There is a high degree of diversity both floristically and in terms of habitat.

Map reference: H020600, 5 miles E of Belleek
Hectares: 7
Developing swamp/fen/carr
Access by path from public road to west
Spring and summer

Castlecaldwell Heritage (FNR)

This small reserve was created to maintain a good example of mature coniferous woodland beyond its normal commercial rotation. The area was planted in 1921 with Sitka spruce and Japanese larch and has been subject to standard thinning practice. Due to the open condition of the wood it now carries a full and varied ground flora with an abundance of bramble in parts.

Map reference: H004603, 5 miles E of Belleek
Hectares: 0.6
Old conifer woodland
Access on foot via forest road
All year

Conagher (FNR)

The reserve has a scarp and dip slope topography. Low north facing cliffs and gentle south facing slopes produce a wide variety of vegetation types. Scrub oak, hazel, birch and rowan occur on the cliff faces while the wet flushed areas on the slopes support typical bog communities. There is a small area of open water, Largalinney Lough, whose bordering vegetation includes the saw sedge Cladium mariscus. The north western edge of the reserve borders Correl Glen National nature Reserve. The long distance footpath - the Ulster Way - bisects the area.

Map reference: H071538, 4 miles W of Derrygonnelly
Hectares: 120
Varied acid upland flora
Access on foot via forest road
All year

Coolnasillagh (FNR)

A series of small marginal fields reverting to scrub and woodland. Old hedgerow trees have reseeded much of the adjoining land resulting in colonisation by ash, alder, holly and hazel. A rich ground flora, particularly of spring flowering plants, has developed. There is a wide range of song birds and the more common butterflies.

Map reference: H433331, 4 miles E of Lisnaskea
Hectares: 4.2
Farmland reverting to woodland
Access by forest road to north
Spring and summer

Cornagague Wood and Lough (FNR)

The reserve comprises of a small area of scrub woodland and a lake. The woodland has developed in the marsh following the cessation of peat cutting. Willow and alder predominate with some birch and holly in a drier corner. There is a very good ground flora. The lake is rich in aquatic insects, particularly dragonflies. Great crested grebes nest on the lake which is also frequented by a variety of wildfowl in winter. The fringing Phragmites bed is occasionally cut for thatch.

Map reference H474303, 4 miles W of Rosslea
Hectares: 3.1
Scrub woodland, interdrumlin lake
Access from farm lane from public road to the south
Spring

Correl Glen (NNR)

The reserve consists of a series of small escarpments supporting mixed deciduous woodland on the scarp slopes and heath communities on the dip slopes. The northerly aspect and damp climate have also encouraged a rich bryophyte growth. The rare purple hairstreak butterfly has been recorded.

Map reference: H080544, 3 miles NW of Derrygonnelly
Hectares: 41
Mixed deciduous woodland
Access by path from public road
Spring and summer 
 

Corry Point Wood (FNR)

The reserve forms a promontory on the south shore of Lough Macnean Lower. The main characteristic of the area is the number of small but quite distinct plant communities present. There is a wide range of common deciduous trees and the ground vegetation includes many species typical of natural woodland. The area is particularly rich in mosses and the shoreline vegetation includes many sedges Carex spp.

Map reference: H0995378, 10 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 3.7
Mixed deciduous woodland
Access via track from public road to the south
Spring 

Dohatty Glebe (FNR)

The reserve rises almost to the summit of the prominent Benaughlin Mountain, 375m. Fine upper carboniferous limestone cliffs and scree slopes support a wide variety on plants on base rich soils. Whinchats, uncommon in this area frequent the scree slopes and upper boundaries of the plantation.
Two cairns, one on the mountain top and the other beside the access road to the reserve are of archaeological interest.

Map reference: H180310, 9 miles S of Enniskillen
Hectares: 28.6
Limestone cliff vegetation, archaeological site
Access via forest road on foot from public road to the east
All year 
 

Glen Wood (FNR)

This oakwood probably derives from planting in the eighteenth century though the site was probably previously wooded. It lies in a small glen with a stream flowing through it.

While the oakwood is not of natural origin it has been in existence sufficiently long to establish an associated ground flora similar to that which a natural oakwood would have on this type of site. That interest of the site is increased by the association with the stream and the wet shaded areas on the stream side have interesting bryophyte communities.

Map reference: H172330, 8 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 4.8
Oak wood on heavy base rich clay
Access on foot from car park in Florence Court Forest Park
April-June 

Killesher (FNR)

The reserve consists of natural scrub woodland and associated flora on base rich soils. The dominant tree species are ash, birch and hazel with some rowan, blackthorn and holly. The ground flora is typical of dry limestone woodland with many moss covered boulders.
The reserve is at its best in late spring with dogs mercury Mercurialis perennis, enchanters nightshade Circaea lutetiana and bluebell in profusion.

Map reference: H121358, 9 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 3.7
Dry limestone, ash woodland
Access via track from public road to the north
Spring
 

Magho (FNR)

The reserve extends over a considerable area of limestone cliff and scree slopes with numerous sheltered gullies. There are many distinct habitats within the reserve; mixed deciduous scrub; boulders and rockfalls with interesting flora, mossy saxifrage, Saxifraga hypnoides, filmy fern, Hymenophyllum tunbridgense and wall ferns Asplenium spp; epiphytic woodlands, ash and hazel scrub on boulder strewn slope.

Map reference: H080578, 4 miles NW of Derrygonnelly
Hectares: 74.2
Natural woodland on cliff and scree slopes
Access from public road
All year 

Marble Arch (NNR)

The wood is a fine example of the wetter facies of ashwood. While ash is the dominant species over much of the reserve there are also areas of oak and beech. Hazel coppice forms an understorey in many places.

Map reference: H123350, 9 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 24
Wooded gorge in limestone
Access by path from public road to north east
Spring and summer 

Naan Island (FNR)

The reserve is a fine example of undisturbed shoreline and associated reedswamp. There are extensive areas of reed bed comprising Scripus lacustris and Phragmites communis. Protected shallow lagoons exhibit various pond weeds Potamogeton spp; natans, P. gramineus and P. abtusifolius, together with Equisitum fluviatile, Eleocharis acicularis and Carex rostrata.

The reserve includes Naan Island East and Naan Island West which are covered with thick scrub of alder, birch and willow.

Map reference: H296318, 4 milse W of Lisnaskea.
Hectares: 4.6
Reed beds, wooded islands and exposed shoreline
Access only possible by boat
All year

Rossaa Wood (NNR)

The reserve forms a fine example of a dry ashwood on carboniferous rocks. Other hardwoods also occur and the conditions favour a rich growth of bryophytes.


Map reference: H105365, 10 miles SW of Enniskillen
Hectares: 5
Ashwood.
Access by track from public road north
Spring and summer
 

 

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