Ross Lough Forest Nature Reserve

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: August 28, 2012
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Fermanagh
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As the Sillees River meanders its way towards Lower Lough Erne, it passes through Ross Lough, settled in a hollow amongst drumlins.  Ross Lough has a swamp and fen shoreline typical of County Fermanagh. The lake lowering after the Sillees drainage scheme has increased its variety of habitats - there is open water, swamp, fen and wet meadow.

A small wooded crannog can be reached in abnormally dry periods only. The area is completely flooded in the winter; the only trees which can withstand these wet conditions are alder and willow.  The nature reserve is presently ungrazed and is situated at the east of the lough.  Limited grazing has allowed reeds, sedges and bulrushes to grow tall and these are interspersed with typical wetland plants such as yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife.  Mudwort, a rarity in Ireland, flowers here between June and October.

In contrast, the grazed shoreline around the remainder of Ross Lough is not as rich in plants.Sedge warblers flit restlessly amongst the rushes and grasses on the lough shore. Meanwhile, kingfishers nest along the nearby riverbanks and can be seen flying across the water at great speed.

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1. Ross Lough Forest Nature Reserve

Altitude: 155 ft