Bann Estuary ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Earth Science
  • Londonderry
Council: Causeway Coast and Glens
Guidance and literature: Bann Estuary ASSI

Bann Estuary ASSI incorporates a series of sand dune systems which together with the lowest section of the River Bann, are part of the same physiological unit that has evolved over the last 6,000 years. The study of the dune sediments provides information critical to understanding sea-level history in the area and the development stages and processes in the evolution of temperate dune soils. 

Biological interest relates to the complex mosaic of habitat types associated with the diverse morphology and soils of the dune systems. These include embryo dunes bound together by sand couch and extensive areas of white dune, which are dominated by marram grass. The grey dune complex includes a number of damp hollows and blow-outs and supports an array of plant and animal communities including rare and unusual species. The oldest dunes consist of a short-grazed sward, which supports the rare shepherd's cress. Saltmarsh associated with the river estuary and rich fen communities to the east of the Pottagh River support an array of plant species. In addition, the woodland at Kilcranny provides additional habitat diversity. 

The Bann Estuary site is used by significant numbers of passage and wintering waders and wildfowl and is also important for breeding species including shelduck, redshank, snipe and lapwing.

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