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Special Areas of Conservation

Breen Wood

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Northern Ireland
Unitary Authority Northern Ireland
Centroid* D123336
Latitude 55.1378
Longitude -6.2381
SAC EU Code UK0030097
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 36.03
* 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 Breen Wood SAC

General site character

  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (27%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (9%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (64%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site (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

  • Breen Wood is one of the best examples of old sessile oak woods in Northern Ireland. It is traversed by glacial outflow channels that have formed a series of dry, low ridges interspersed by damp, narrow valleys. Over these freely-draining and leached slopes, the wood is strongly calcifugous in nature, with a high canopy of downy birch Betula pubescens and oak Quercus spp. The shrub layer is composed of rowan Sorbus aucuparia with some holly Ilex aquifolium. The field layer is dominated by bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, with occasional bramble Rubus fruticosus agg., honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum and ferns, typically bracken Pteridium aquilinum. The herb layer is overwhelmingly dominated by extensive carpets of great wood-rush Luzula sylvatica. The only other species that occur to any significant extent are hard fern Blechnum spicant and wood-sorrel Oxalis acetosella. Breen Wood is the only known location in Northern Ireland for the moss Hylocomium umbratum.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

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

  • Not Applicable

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

  • Not Applicable

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.