Cashel Loughs ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Armagh
Council: Newry, Mourne and Down
Guidance and literature: Cashel Loughs ASSI

Cashel Loughs is an extensive area of semi-natural vegetation in an ice-scoured rock basin. It takes in a wide range of habitats including dry heath, acid grassland, scrub and woodland.

The wetlands are of particular importance, with a range of communities including the open waters of the three loughs in addition to adjoining fen, cut-over bog, wet heath and rush pasture.

The area contains a number of vascular plants with a restricted distribution in the British isles, including marsh St. John's-wort, western gorse and a number of notable mosses.

The diversity of wetland habitats supports a rich invertebrate community including 30 species of water beetle, 15 species of spider and 10 species of ground beetle. In addition to its overall diversity, the site contains a number of notable species including the rove beetle Stenus nitens, the water beetle Laccornis oblongus and four species of spider. 

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