Sliabh Beagh
Sliabh Beagh are mountains which straddle the border between County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and County Fermanagh
County Fermanagh
Fermanagh District Council is the only one of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland that contains all of the county it is named after. The district council also contains a small section of County Tyrone in the Dromore and Kilskeery road areas....

 and County Tyrone
County Tyrone
Historically Tyrone stretched as far north as Lough Foyle, and comprised part of modern day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle. The majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610-1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. The point where the three counties meet, which is also in the Sliabh Beagh, is referred to as "Three County Hollow".


The name means "little mountains" in Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

, sometimes written as Slieve Beagh in English. In County Monaghan, the locals typically refer to the Sliabh Beagh as the "Bragan Mountains", taking the name from a townland within the Sliabh Beagh.


The Sliabh Beagh region is primarily made up of blanket bog
Blanket bog
Blanket bog or blanket mire is an area of peatland, forming where there is a climate of high rainfall and a low level of evapotranspiration, allowing peat to develop not only in wet hollows but over large expanses of undulating ground. The blanketing of the ground with a variable depth of peat...

, with numerous lakes throughout. In Northern Ireland much of the Sliabh Beagh area has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation
Special Area of Conservation
A Special Area of Conservation is defined in the European Union's Habitats Directive , also known as the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora...



The Sliabh Beagh Way is a 25 mile walk starting at St Patrick's Chair and Well in County Tyrone, passing through County Monaghan and finishing at Donagh
Donagh is a small village and townland in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It lies between Lisnaskea and Newtownbutler. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 255.- Features :...

 in southeast Fermanagh. There are an additional 31 loop walks throughout the Sliabh Beagh region ranging from 2.5 miles to 12 miles.

Ramsar site

The Slieve Beagh Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention
The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural,...

), is 1884.68 hectares in area, at Latitude 54 20 53 N and Longitude 07 11 38 W. It was designated a Ramsar site on 14 December 1999. The Ramsar site boundary coincides entirely with that of the Slieve Beagh Area of Special Scientific Interest
Area of Special Scientific Interest
An Area of Special Scientific Interest or ASSI is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in Northern Ireland. ASSIs are the equivalent of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the rest of the United Kingdom....

 and the Slieve Beagh Special Area of Conservation. The site qualified under Criterion 1 of the Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention
The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural,...

 because it is a large and relatively intact example of a blanket bog and one of the best examples of this habitat in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It also contains nationally important examples of transitional and alkaline fen and oligotroph
An oligotroph is an organism that can live in an environment that offers very low levels of nutrients. They may be contrasted with copiotrophs, which prefer nutritionally rich environments...

ic/mesotrophic lakes.

The peatland features include occasional well developed hummock and lawn complexes, a few small localised pool complexes, as well as soakways and flushes. Vegetation is characterised by Sphagnum
Sphagnum is a genus of between 151 and 350 species of mosses commonly called peat moss, due to its prevalence in peat bogs and mires. A distinction is made between sphagnum moss, the live moss growing on top of a peat bog on one hand, and sphagnum peat moss or sphagnum peat on the other, the...

 mosses and ericoid dwarf-shrubs. The peatland flora includes a number of rare and unusual species including Cowberry
Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Vaccinium vitis-idaea is a short evergreen shrub in the heath family that bears edible sour fruit, native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America. In the past it was seldom cultivated, but fruit was commonly collected in the wild. ...

 and the mosses Sphagnum fuscum and Sphagnum imbricatum. There are several upland, base-poor lakes occur with aquatic mosses. The floating and marginal vegetation associated with these water bodies tends to be sparse and restricted, and consists of a scattered swamp and poor acid fen fringe. The area supports a breeding population of Red Grouse
Red grouse
The Red Grouse is a medium sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain and Ireland. It is usually classified as a subspecies of the Willow Grouse but is sometimes considered to be a separate species Lagopus scoticus...

, as well as Eurasian Golden Plover
Eurasian Golden Plover
The European Golden Plover is a largish plover. This species is similar to two other golden plovers. American Golden Plover, Pluvialis dominiica, and Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, are both smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European Golden Plover, and both have grey...

 and Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier
The Hen Harrier or Northern Harrier is a bird of prey. It breeds throughout the northern parts of the northern hemisphere in Canada and the northernmost USA, and in northern Eurasia. This species is polytypic, with two subspecies. Marsh Hawk is a historical name for the American form.It migrates...


The upland lakes support a species-poor but notable upland insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

 fauna. The water beetle
Water beetle
A water beetle is a beetle adapted to living in water. Water beetles rise to the water surface and take atmospheric air into their tracheal systems. There are approximately 2000 species of water beetles. The rest marine species tend to live in the intertidal zone...

 (Agabus arcticus) and the water bug
Heteroptera is a group of about 40,000 species of insects in the Hemiptera. Sometimes called "true bugs", that name more commonly refers to Hemiptera as a whole, and "typical bugs" might be used as a more unequivocal alternative since among the Hemiptera the heteropterans are most consistently and...

(Callicorixa wollastoni) are common in the lakes and pools and the concentration of both species is the greatest recorded in Northern Ireland. The most notable species are found in the highest lake, Lough Sallagh, where the rare upland beetle Potamonectes griseostriatus and corixid Glaenocorisa propinqua are found.
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