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Glenwest BogFermanagh
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Summary Full report
Site Type: Altitude: 120m, Inland exposure
Site Status: PASSI
Grid Reference: G975515
Rock Age: Quaternary (Holocene)
Other interest: tephra, Interglacial deposit, raised bog, grassland, temperate forest, tundra

Summary of site:

This is the most westerly bog site in the Earth Science Conservation Review and it contains a full Holocene (last 10,000 years) sequence and may include late glacial deposits too. It is situated 4km east of the village of Garrison and is supremely important as the best surviving teaching site in a rapidly deteriorating situation, as more bogs are stripped for horticultural peat products.

The bog originated in one or a pair of early river channels, a rare situation and contains a full, undisturbed peat sequence, up to and including the present day. Vegetational changes since mediaeval times are preserved here but the major interest will lie in the long history of hydrology and vegetation since the last phase of the Pleistocene glaciation. The bog has a well-developed pool system with a rich Sphagnum moss flora (including Sphagnum imbricatum, now generally uncommon), bogbean, common and great sundew and, on the margins, butterwort. There are also patches of orchids on the north-east side of the dome. The fate of this bog appears to be in the balance. Spade cutting can be seen on all margins but so far has not undermined its essential integrity. The most immediate and fundamental threat is from machine cutting that commenced in 1996 and has started to eat into the southern end of the dome. Machinery conducting this work has considerably damaged the bog surface in that area obliterating pools and hummocks leading to cotton grass and Triquetrum replacing Sphagnum. As the best remaining raised bog in Northern Ireland, all efforts should be made to ensure its survival, by management agreement if possible or, if necessary, by other means. It is suggested that peripheral blanket bog peat could be sacrificed to ensure the future of the main bog.

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