Earth Science Conservation Review

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Claraghmore Bog
Site number:107  
Locality Type:Altitude: 78m, Inland exposure Status: ASSI
Grid Reference: H352762 Centroid
County: TyroneCouncil area:Fermanagh & Omagh District Council
Site Description
The site has a detailed full Holocene pollen record with a full suit of radiocarbon dates providing a detailed vegetational history and also a valuable local record for comparison with the lake sediment record covering the same span from Lough Catherine. Recent work shows this site also has a good tephra record. Further pollen studies are underway.
Claraghmore Bog has ASSI status and remains in good condition with numerous bog pools. The many species of Sphagnum and other flowering plant species found only on wet bogs, show that the ecology of the site is stable. Its palynological and tephrochronological status for the historic period has been investigated as the subject of a M.Sc. dissertation. There is a radiocarbon dated pollen diagram spanning the Holocene, which we have obtained from Prof. Kevin J. Edwards, University of Sheffield. Details of the surface area, maximum depth and underlying topography of the bog are in Grant et al. (1997, Vol. 3). Tephra investigations (unpublished) from neighbouring Garvaghullion Bog show that this area has a valuable range of chronological markers extending to the present. Such a precise timeframe is essential for further past environmental research.
We emphasise the urgent need for a re-evaluation of the geographical extent of the Claraghmore ASSI. Beside the bog are two small lakes and an area of oak and hazel woodland, possibly coppiced, (Irish Grid Ref H 355764) in which there is at least one old wall. The large numbers of woody, and especially herbaceous, species in the wood are evidence of its considerable antiquity. It may be relict of extensive woodland in this area into late mediaeval times. The woodland provides the palaeoenvironmentalist with a modern analogue for past pollen studies and would be a fine site for teaching past landscape features. At present cattle graze in the woodland. Their exclusion would allow the herbaceous woodland-floor species to flourish and the wood to regain its original appearance.
Examination of any documentary history for the area might explain the significance of the wall. It is likely that one of the small lakes is artificial, made by peat cutting in the past. It should be included in an extended ASSI as it supports numerous species of insect.

For general information and references on the Late Quaternary and Holocene of Northern Ireland see the following site:
Key Site 101 - Introduction to the Late Quaternary and Holocene of Northern Ireland
For site specific information on the Late Quaternary and Holocene of Northern Ireland see the following sites:
Key Site 102 - Sluggan Bog Key Site 103 - Garry Bog Key Site 104 - Fallahogy Bog Key Site 105 - Slieve Gallion Key Site 106 - Garvaghullion Bog Key Site 108 - Glen West Bog

Relations:Interglacial deposit
Geomorph:raised bog
Paleoenv:grassland, temperate forest, tundra
Rec Type ESCR report Recorder: Jonathan R. Pilcher and Valerie A. Hall, Queen's U
Enterer: E M Porter
Updates: 12 Jun 2004 / 09 JAN 00
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