Devenish Island ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Fermanagh
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Guidance and literature: Devenish Island ASSI - County Fermanagh

This area is of special scientific interest because of its breeding waders and species-rich wet grassland. Species-rich grassland tends to occur only where land management is not intensive, in particular where traditional farming practices have been maintained. As a result, it is not a widespread habitat in Northern Ireland and is often fragmented, consisting of individual fields, parts of fields or banks. Species-rich wet grasslands, like those found at Devenish Island, are a particularly scarce resource in Northern Ireland.

Devenish Island is a lightly grazed drumlin island in Lower Lough Erne. The island has a central ridge sloping to the lough shore. The combination of topography and the related soil hydrology has resulted in a range of species-rich wet grasslands on the island. These vary from rush pasture to fen meadow, with base-loving plants present throughout the area.

Devenish Island has, in the recent past, been a highly significant locality for breeding waders in a Northern Ireland context. Species include curlew, snipe, redshank and lapwing, sometimes tufted duck.

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