This area is of special scientific interest because of its species-rich wet grassland, wet heath and associated fauna. 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 grasslands, like those found at Tower More, are a particularly scarce resource in Northern Ireland.
Tower More is situated within a landscape of rolling hills near the town of Garrison. The area is within the townlands of Cashelnadrea, Scribbagh, Tower Beg and Tower More and is close to the Roogagh River. Tower More is on the edge of the uplands with an altitude of approximately 120m above sea level.
Due to a combination of factors such as slope, altitude, precipitation and the westerly geographical position, the soils are kept consistently moist.
The diverse topography and soil hydrology at Tower More has enabled a complex range of wetland habitats to develop. Often these differences in habitat are evident over quite small areas and locally form mosaics of semi-natural habitat types, including species-rich rush pasture, fen meadow, wet heath and where drier conditions exist, wet lowland meadow, with base-loving plants present throughout the area.
The wet grasslands at Tower More represent one of the largest areas of species-rich wet grassland in Northern Ireland.
Tower More is a particularly significant area in Northern Ireland for breeding colonies of the marsh fritillary butterfly. The species-rich grasslands and wet heaths support large quantities of Devil’s-bit scabious which is the larval foodplant for the marsh fritillary.
In addition to this species Tower More also supports a wide range of other flora and fauna.
- 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