Fardrum and Roosky Turloughs
Area: 43.10 Hectares
Grid reference: H176507, H180501 and H184494
Date designated: 24/03/2002
Fardrum and Roosky Turloughs are sited some 7 kms north-west of Enniskillen. The site includes small elements of open water, the wet grasslands of the inundation zone, scrub woodland and agricultural grassland. While the turloughs themselves are relatively small, adjoining land that either hosts notable habitat or has a bearing on the conservation quality of the wetlands, has been included.
The boundary to the Ramsar site is entirely coincident with Fardrum and Roosky Turloughs ASSI.
The site qualifies under Criterion 1 because it is a representative example of a natural wetland type found within its biogeographic region.
The turloughs of the Ely Lodge district are the only ones in Northern Ireland and are the most northerly occurrence of these lake types in Ireland. Turloughs, meaning dry lakes, are always found within limestone areas. They flood in winter or periods of prolonged rainfall and dry out, partially or completely, in dry periods, especially during summer. There are three turloughs in the group: Roosky Lough is the southernmost, Green Lough lies to the north, with Fardrum Lough between the two.
They all lie within a basin formed in the Ballyshannon Limestones. Turloughs, meaning dry lakes, are always found within limestone areas. In general, inflowing water comes through the limestone via risings, especially noticeable at Roosky Lough.
Outflow is also through the limestone, via sinks, which can be clearly seen during dry periods at Roosky and Green Loughs. These turloughs all exhibit distinctive vegetation communities associated with the inundation zone (the area flooded during high water periods but exposed when the water level in the turlough is low). silverweed, marsh pennywort, selfheal and creeping-Jenny are all associated with the upper part of this zone. The unusual looking adder’s-tongue fern is present in places, while the nationally rare fen violet has also been recorded.
Two mosses which are very characteristic of turloughs are present, namely Cinclidotus fontinaloides (.PDF 157Kb) and Fontinalis antipyretica, the former generally being found at lower levels than the latter.
Permanently wet basins within the turloughs support vegetation typical of lakes and lake shores. The more common species include white water-lily, bogbean, amphibious bistort, fine-leaved water-dropwort and pond water-crowfoot. Some of these form very extensive swards. One rare and unusual species that was recorded was unbranched bur-reed.
Some of the land adjoining the turloughs also contains notable habitats. There are areas of dense scrub dominated by hazel. These have a flushed, calcicolous (base-rich) ground flora, dominated by wood anemone and bluebell broad-leaved Helleborine has been recorded. More open scrub contains the uncommon shrubs buckthorn and spindle. Notable elements in the ground flora include northern bedstraw.
The turloughs support a range of water beetles, with the species Rhantus frontalis being typical of such ephemeral waterbodies. Green Lough supports a very rich ground beetle fauna including the carabids Blethisa multipunctata and Pelophila borealis.
One particularly notable species is Philonthus corvinus which is a rare beetle across the whole of its range.
In total, these wetlands have contributed records of nine beetles that are new to Fermanagh.