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Ring of Gullion Biodiversity

The area today has a rich flora and fauna with many nationally and internationally important habitats and species.

Where to See Wildlife in Gullion

For accommodation and eating out etc. visit

Cashel Loughs

Cashel Loughs

Cashel Loughs is an extensive area of semi-natural vegetation in an ice-scoured rock basin. It takes in a wide range of habitats including dry heath, acid grassland, scrub and woodland.The wetlands are of particular importance, with a range of communities including the clear unpolluted open waters of the three loughs in addition to adjoining fen, cut-over bog, wet heath and rush pasture. The area contains a number of vascular plants with a restricted distribution in Ireland and Britain, including marsh St. John’s-wort, western gorse and a number of notable mosses, as well as common reed, water horsetail and white water lily.

The diversity of wetland habitats supports a rich invertebrate community including 30 species of water beetle, 15 species of spider and 10 species of ground beetle. In addition to its overall diversity, the site contains a number of notable species including the rove beetle Stenus nitens, the water beetle Laccornis oblongus and four species of spider.

The Newry Canal – Carlingford Lough

The Newry Canal – Carlingford Lough

The canal is a major feature on the eastern edge of the Ring of Gullion. Not only has it been a very important navigation route into Newry port and the canal network within Ulster but it has an attractive woodland fringe. It also supports a good coarse fishery.

The species found in the canal include Roach, Bream, Rudd, Eel, Perch, Pike and Trout, a few years back Tench were introduced and make an appearance now and again. The canal fishes all year round and the distinctive areas provide excellent sport throughout.

A permit is not required for this water – although an angler must hold a Loughs Agency rod licence

Newry Canal (inland from Newry city)

This is a summit level canal with several locks designed to ‘lift’ barges over the watershed between Carlingford lough, Newry and the Lough Neagh basin. The locks lie open today and there is a flow of fresh water through the canal. On the lower sections the canal is weed grown. The canal is controlled by Newry and Mourne District Council.

Newry Ship Canal (seaward of Newry city)

The old ship canal was built to link Newry to the sea. It runs for 3 miles from the Albert Basin in the town to Victoria Lock where it meets the waters of Carlingford Lough.

There is parking in the city of Newry and at Victoria Lock. Several platforms (pegs) have been built along the Newry to Omeath road. Car parking is limited and care is required on this busy length of road!

Cam Lough

Cam Lough

Along the banks, marsh and scrub provide cover and nesting sites for many birds including mute swan, great crested grebe, moorhen, heron and warblers. The largest lough in the Ring of Gullion, it is probably the best example of a glacial ‘ribbon’ lake in Northern Ireland, and supports a good coarse fishery.

Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

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Ring of Gullion AONB
Crossmaglen Community Centre,
O’Fiaich Square,
BT35 9AA.

Tel: +44 (0)330 137 4898


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