Curlews, bats and melancholy thistles …


As many people are becoming aware, the area in which hydraulic fracturing is planned includes the Marble Arch Caves Geopark, one of less than sixty designated geoparks in the world, selected for their exceptional geological heritage and natural landscape.  Within the Geopark are eight Special Areas of Conservation, at least eighteen Areas of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Preservation.

Sonya O’Dwyer Oldham has prepared notes and a presentation about the area, its geology, flora and fauna and has kindly made this available to users of the frackaware site.

Her presentation shows us the landscape, which includes blanket bogs, turloughs, limestone pavement and karst underground cave systems and the beautiful, scarce and endangered species of plants and animals which live there. Rare butterflies, bats, otters, golden plovers, fish whose species dates back to the Ice Age, the evocatively named melancholy thistle, the unique cave dwelling water beetles of Boho, the Irish damselfly, the curlew and many more depend upon these habitats for their home. In many cases these are the only remaining populations of their species within Northern Ireland, and sometimes the only known examples in the world.

You can see Sonya’s presentation in Open Office or Powerpoint formats or the notes only (without pictures) on our Documents page (as item 11).