Garron Plateau

Site details

UK map showing location of Garron Plateau Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Garron Plateau SAC/SCI/cSAC


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 hareís-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.
7230 Alkaline fens
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 dioica Ė Pinguicula 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, devilís-bit scabious Succisa pratensis and marsh arrowgrass Triglochin palustris, and the bryophytes Scorpidium scorpioides, Drepanocladus revolvens, Philonotis spp., Cratoneuron spp. and Campylium stellatum.

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

3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the IsoŽto-Nanojuncetea
3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix
7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs

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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