001687 Glen Lough pNHA
SITE NAME: GLEN LOUGH pNHA
SITE CODE: 001687
Glen lough is situated about five kilometres north-west of Lough Iron and the Black River connects these two lakes. Extensive drainage in the 1960's has resulted in the dramatic drop in water table here, with the result that there is little open water, except during flooding in the winter months. Sedge dominated freshwater marsh now occupies the majority of what was once open water.
Species encountered include Bottle Sedge (Carex rostrata), Horsetail (Equisetium fluviatile) Water Mint (Mentha aquatica), Canary Reed Grass (Phalaris arundinacea), and occassional tussocks of Tufted Sedge (Carex elata). Unlike most of the other lakes in the Midlands it does not have a significant diving duck population.
Instead, it holds large numbers of dabbling ducks, with Mallard, Wigeon and Teal having been recorded here. Internationally significant numbers of Whooper Swan (236) have been noted here but Greenland White-fronted Geese are now irregular. In fact the area where they were last seen has recently been planted with conifers and it seems unlikely that they will return here. Other habitats of note encountered at Glen Lough include reedswamp, wet and dry grassland vegetation, cutaway bog colonised by heath vegetation, scrub, wet willow woodland, exposed rock and fen.
Although many of the Midland lakes have undergone extensive drainage this lake is a typical in that the water table has considerably dropped and the lake has ceased to exist, except during flooding in the winter months. This situation has worsened further with the dredging of the exit stream about three years ago by OPW, so that flooding at the site is now rare and short-lived. Coincidentally whooper swans have ceased regularly feeding at the site and dabbling duck usage is no longer significant. (Information per. P. O'Donnell, N.P.W.S.)
12 July, 1995.