Protected areas

Much of the area that Ballinderry Rivers Trust is involved in conserving and protecting has special protection status because of the rare and special plants and animals that live there. 

Some of these important conservation sites have European and even global protection status and form part of a network of sites providing our resident wildlife with a safe place to call home and our migratory wildlife with a network of refuges and stop –offs across the planet.

Ballinderry River

Upper Ballinderry River Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Ballinderry River (Upper)

In 2000, the upper part of Ballinderry River, from near its source at Cam Lough to the Glanavon Weir at Cookstown, was recommended to the European Commission as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC), because it supports a number of the rare or threatened species and habitats listed in Annexes I and II of The European Commission Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (92/43/EEC), more commonly referred to as ‘The Habitats Directive’.

The designated area, known as The Upper Ballinderry River SAC, was fully adopted in 2005 because it is one of only six rivers in Northern Ireland that still holds a population of the globally endangered freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera, as well as substantial otter Lutra lutra numbers and beds of water-crowfoot Ranunculus ssp.

Upper Ballinderry River Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Ballinderry River (Upper)
In 2000, the same part of the river designated as an SAC was declared by the Department of the Environment’s Environment and Heritage Service (now the Northern Ireland Environment Agency) as an Area of Special Scientific Interest, under Article 14 of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

In addition to the European priority habitat and species listed in the SAC designation, the river supports other, Northern Irish priority species including Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes, river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis, brook lamprey Lampetra planeri, as well as rare physiogeographical features and a variety of terrestrial habitats, which are all afforded special protection status by the ASSI designation.

Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Part of the upper river catchment area is recognised for its high scenic value and falls within the boundary of the Sperrin Mountains Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Lough Doo Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Bordering the Lough Doo Stream

Limehill Farm Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Rock River

Little River Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Rock River

Tanderagee Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Bordering the Claggan River

Western shore rivers and streams

Tradd Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

Ballyronan Wood Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

Brookend Nature Reserve (NR)

Washing Bay Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh and Lough Beg Special Protection Area (SPA)

Lough Neagh and Lough Beg Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

Lough Neagh Ramsar Designation