The area is particularly notable as one of the longest established colonies of the marsh fritillary butterfly in NI. The species was first recorded in 1984, with records in most years since then.
The area is an inter-drumlin wetland with a mosaic of notable vegetation communities fringing the mesotrophic lake. Of particular importance is the marginal mossy fen, which is extensive to the south and east behind the swamp and tall herb fen that fringes Aughnadarragh Lough. The mossy fen is predominantly base-rich in type, with pockets of poor acid fen around a small remnant pocket of raised bog in the south.
Wet woodland and scrub fringe the lough to the east and north. Although not a qualifying feature, the open water community is also significant, being a reasonable example of a mesotrophic lake.
The range of vegetation types associated with the site makes it one of the most diverse wetlands in County Down.
- ASSI Guidance for Public Bodies/Competent Authorities
- Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest
- Conservation Management Plans for Northern Ireland’s Special Areas of Conservation
- European Marine Sites - Marine Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas
- Management of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
- Marine Conservation Zones
- Marine Protected Areas
- Marine Ramsar sites
- Portrush Coastal Zone
- Special Areas of Conservation
- Special Areas of Conservation for Harbour porpoise
- Special Protection Areas