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Special Areas of Conservation

Garron Plateau

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Northern Ireland
Unitary Authority Northern Ireland
Centroid* D240190
Latitude 55.00305556
Longitude -6.061666667
SAC EU Code UK0016606
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 4652.18
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of Garron Plateau SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (1%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (70%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (20%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (9%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature

    Garron is the most extensive area of intact upland Blanket bogs in Northern Ireland. The peatland complex is composed of a series of raised and flushed peat bog units and a number of oligotrophic lakes. There are large areas of well-developed bog microtopography, with a mixture of cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, deergrass Trichophorum cespitosum and hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum, with a generally high cover of dwarf-shrubs and Sphagnum papillosum, S. fuscum and S. imbricatum. It is the main Irish location for both few-flowered sedge Carex pauciflora and tall bog-sedge C. magellanica. The areas of flushed peat are extremely rich floristically, with black bog-rush Schoenus nigricans and brown mosses. The site contains the only Northern Ireland populations of the Annex II species 1528 Marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus and bog orchid Hammarbya paludosa.

  • Garron Plateau is one of the largest areas of 7130 blanket bog in Northern Ireland. The site occurs over basalt rocks, and where the peats are thinner, localised flushing by mineral-enriched water results in the formation of alkaline fen vegetation. Although there are many such flushes, their total area is relatively small, since the flushes are generally very small in extent. Nevertheless a combination of good quality and geographical position make this habitat very important here. The vegetation is characterised by M10 Carex dioicaPinguicula vulgaris mire. This is generally very species-rich, with a range of small sedges including dioecious sedge Carex dioica, flea sedge C. pulicaris, tawny sedge C. hostiana and yellow-sedge C. viridula ssp. brachyrrhyncha, herbs such as eyebright Euphrasia spp., marsh lousewort Pedicularis palustris, common butterwort Pinguicula vulgaris, lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides, devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis and marsh arrowgrass Triglochin palustris, and the bryophytes Scorpidium scorpioides, Drepanocladus revolvens, Philonotis spp., Cratoneuron spp. and Campylium stellatum.

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 1528 Marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus

    Garron Plateau is the only extant locality for marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus in Northern Ireland. Marsh saxifrage is currently restricted to a small population on one of the flushes that occurs on this extensive area of Annex I habitat 7130 Blanket bogs overlying basalt.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

  • Not Applicable

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