Newlands ASSI

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

This site is composed of six fields and associated gorse scrub and ash woodland. Such species rich dry grassland is now rare in Northern Ireland, and is restricted to areas were land management is not intensive and traditional farming methods prevail.

The six fields contain a range of species typical of traditionally managed grasslands. These include a variety of grasses such as crested dog's-tail and sweet vernal grass, and a range of meadow herbs including common knapweed, Devil's-bit scabious, bugle and autumn hawkbit. In addition several orchid species occur, such as greater butterfly orchid, and frog orchid. Quaking grass is also found on the site, which is quite rare throughout Northern Ireland.

In the wetter areas of the site species such as marsh-marigold, bogbean, marsh violet, and water mint dominate. Many of these species are only found on grasslands that are managed without the use of artificial fertiliser, herbicides, or the application of manure or slurry. Such practices encourage the growth of grasses, which out compete the smaller plants such as orchids.

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