Big Dog Scarps and Lakes ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Fermanagh
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Guidance and literature: Big Dog Scarps and Lakes ASSI

The area is of special scientific interest because of its range of upland habitats and for the flora and fauna they support, including a number of rare and notable species.

This complex area is located within and adjacent to the Big Dog Forest and consists of a series of sandstone scarp ridges and dip slopes with a number of open water bodies.  

The steep scarps support a mixture of wet and dry heathland with pockets of broad-leaved acid woodland and scrub.  More substantial wooded scarps are also present.  

The dip slopes are covered by a mixture of wet heath and blanket bog depending on the depth of the peat mantle, with flushed wet grasslands occurring where the peat is thin and mixed with heavy clays.  The open water bodies vary considerably in size, the larger being mesotrophic and the smaller being either oligotrophic or dystrophic in character. Consequently, they support a range of aquatic macrophytes, fringing swamp and marginal fen types.

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