Breen Wood ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Antrim
Council: Causeway Coast and Glens
Guidance and literature: Breen Wood ASSI

Breen Wood ASSI is a semi-natural, acid woodland dominated by mature oak and downy birch. As a consequence of glaciation, a series of dry ridges and narrow valleys provides different environmental conditions across the site.These conditions are reflected in the character of the wood which ranges from mature stands with a well-developed structure on the ridges, to low, scrubby stands in the valley bottoms.

Species composition reflects the acid conditions. These include holly and rowan in the understorey, bilberry in the field layer with great wood-rush frequently dominating the ground flora. The rare moss Hylocomium umbratum has been recorded, its only known location in Northern Ireland.

There is a natural transition from woodland to heath to the west of the site. Breeding birds include the rare wood warbler and notable pied flycatcher as well as a rich mixture of perching song birds and raptors. Mammals include the red squirrel and otter. 

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