000691 Rinn River NHA
SITE NAME: Rinn River NHA
SITE CODE: 000691
The Rinn River flows from L. Rinn in Leitrim, to Lough Forbes on the Shannon. Several sections of the undrained Rinn River, known as callows, between Annaveagh Bridge and Lough Forbes are liable to flood and form the basis of the Rinn River Natural Heritage Area (NHA).
The designated area is mainly of wet grassland. Where this has not been improved for agriculture the main species are Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera), Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) and Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) with Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris), Common Sedge (Carex nigra), Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus acris) along with other grass species such as Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) and Sweet Vernal-grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum). In places the ground is wet enough to support freshwater marsh, dominated by tall sedges such as Bottle Sedge (Carex rostrata). The species present depend not only upon the hydrological conditions, but upon management - areas more improved for agriculture, by fertilisation, feature species such as Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Rye-grass (Lolium perenne).
At Bellageeher the NHA incorporates a small fairly dry lowland raised bog with Ling Heather (Calluna vulgaris) and Here's-tail Cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) along with other characteristic species including Bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)
These conditions are attractive to wildfowl. The use of these areas by has recently been confirmed, for example 56 Greenland White-fronted Geese were counted 10.03.94. The Republic of Ireland hosts about 50% of the world population of this race in the winter, and has international duties to protect it, and the habitats it frequents. In addition Whooper Swan, Wigeon, Pochard, Lapwing and Curlew have been recorded from the site, and the habitat is known to be good for breeding waders in the summer.
Flooding Callows are a valuable national wildlife asset. Both Loughs Forbes and Rinn, are also NHAs and the Rinn River is not only of interest in itself, but provides a 'corridor' for the movement of species of plant, as well as of animals, between the two sites.