Castletown ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Antrim
Council: Mid and East Antrim
Guidance and literature: Castletown ASSI

Castletown is a series of four fields containing species-rich dry grassland. It is particularly important because of the extent of species-rich dry grassland present on the site and because of its history of management as hay. Species-rich dry grassland is a particularly rare resource in NI and is usually not found in larger field parcels.

The fields contain a range of species typical of dry grasslands that have been managed at low intensity. The grasses crested dog's-tail, smooth meadow-grass, common bent, red fescue and yellow oat-grass are common throughout. A range of herbs including oxeye daisy, meadow vetchling, common knapweed yellow-rattle and meadow buttercup are widespread and in places abundant.Both the common and heath - spotted orchids are also abundant in the meadows.Where the soils are less freely draining species such as meadowsweet, sharp-flowered rush and creeping bent are more frequent in the sward. 

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