Desktop Survey undertaken in 2017
Following discussions with the Heritage Officers of Longford and Roscommon County Councils, Wetland Surveys Ireland agreed to partner with the County Councils in the production of a map and associated database holding information on all freshwater wetlands in Counties Longford and Roscommon.
Prior to this project no complete inventory of wetland areas existed for either county. The wetlands in Longford and Roscommon are not only important from the perspective of biodiversity, and for their economic value (i.e. tourism and recreation use), but they also provide many important ecosystem services such as flood prevention, provision of clean water, and carbon storage.
The main aim of the LFROWS 2017 was to prepare a GIS dataset and associated site database of all wetland areas in the two counties. From this, future field surveys will be undertaken to build an accurate dataset of the nature and condition of wetland sites in County Longford.
Suirbhé Bogaigh an Longfoirt 2019
The Longford Wetlands Survey Project 2019, is the second phase of an ongoing research project to assess the extent and nature of sites of potential wetland significance in 2019. This follows on from the previously-supported Longford & Roscommon Wetlands Survey 2017 – Phase 1 desktop survey, a partnership project with the Roscommon Heritage Office, and was undertaken by Wetlands Surveys Ireland and Dr Peter Foss in 2017.
From this desktop survey, sites of potential biodiversity significance were identified for field survey. Non-designated and non-Bord na Móna sites were prioritised, as those already had significant data gathered. Five survey locations were identified:
- Lough Sallagh (Longford shore only), a significant fishing lake at the border with Leitrim;
- Black Lough, a largely infilled lake;
- Currygrane Lough;
- Killeen Lough Complex which held a number of wetland types, and
- Ballybrien Wetland.
Wetland Surveys Ireland surveyed eighteen individual sites within these five survey locations:
1. LF44 Lough Sallagh (LONGFORD), 2. LF53 Black Lough, 3. LF130 Killeen Ponds, 4. LF131 Killeen Lough, 5. LF132 Ballin Lough, 6. LF133 Killeen Bog, 7. LF134 Aghagreagh Bog, 8. LF135 Clonbroney, Bog Woodland, 9. LF136 Cloonfin Lough, 10. LF137 Knockmoody Bog, 11. LF182 Currygrane Wet Woodland, 12. LF183 Currygrane Lough, 13. LF186 Cloonfin South, 14. LF254 Ballybrien Wetland, 15. LF283 Killeen Pond (North) – Ballinlough, 16. LF284 Listraghee Lough, 17. LF288 Ballyreaghan Quarry Pond, 18. LF289 Drummeel Farm Pond North
These were a mix of natural lakes, some with woodlands on their shores, artificial ponds (farm and quarry) and boglands. At two locations, LF132 Ballinlough and LF133 Killeen Lough, wholly new sightings of Marsh Fritillary, a protected Red List species of butterfly was found. The sites were assessed and graded in terms of their biodiversity and ecological value. Two sites, LF132 and 133 were given a C+ county conservation value, with five more (LF44, 53, 131, 183 and 283) were deemed to be of C high value local significance. Seven more were assessed to be of D, or moderate local value, and the four of E or low local value (LF130, 254, 288 and 289).