The site was declared because of its wetland flora and fauna.
The vegetation on and around the island is very diverse, with well-developed areas of swamp and fen. Stands of common reed and bulrush at the water's edge give way to a fen zone which is particularly rich in sedge species- Lesser tussock sedge, bottle sedge and bladder sedge are dominant. Other species occurring include water parsnip, flowering rush, creeping Jenny and marsh stitchwort.
The grassland behind the fen zone is also rich in plant species such as quaking grass and a number of smaller sedge species such as carnation sedge, glaucous sedge and flea sedge. The island also supports a high density of breeding waders. Species include lapwing, curlew, redshank and snipe. Other breeding birds of note include great crested grebe, mallard and shoveler.
- ASSI Guidance for Public Bodies/Competent Authorities
- Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest
- Conservation Management Plans for Northern Ireland’s Special Areas of Conservation
- European Marine Sites - Marine Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas
- Management of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
- Marine Conservation Zones
- Marine Protected Areas
- Marine Ramsar sites
- Portrush Coastal Zone
- Special Areas of Conservation
- Special Areas of Conservation for Harbour porpoise
- Special Protection Areas