Larne Lough

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Larne Lough
Larne Lough.PNG
Location of Larne Lough
Location Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Coordinates 54°49′39″N5°47′24″W / 54.82762°N 5.79011°W / 54.82762; -5.79011 Coordinates: 54°49′39″N5°47′24″W / 54.82762°N 5.79011°W / 54.82762; -5.79011
Basin  countries Northern Ireland
Designated4 March 1997
Reference no.895 [1]

Larne Lough (sometimes Larne Loch, Lough Larne or Loch Larne; [2] from Irish : Loch Latharna. Also known in Irish as Loch Ollarbha or Inbhear nOllarbha) is a sea lough or inlet in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The lough lies between Islandmagee (a peninsula) and the mainland. At its mouth is the town of Larne. It is designated as an area of special scientific interest, a special protection area, and a Ramsar site to protect the wetland environment, particularly due to the presence of certain bird species and shellfish.

Contents

Name

The lough takes its name from the small medieval kingdom of Latharna meaning "descendants of Lathair". The older name for the lough was Loch Ollarbha or Inbhear nOllarbha, from Ollarbha, the ancient name of the Larne Water.

Features

Much of the estuary is shallow, having become extensively infilled with sediments of fine muddy sand, and at low water the largest areas of intertidal flats are exposed in the south of the estuary. The northern parts of the estuary are wider and relatively deep, especially at the mouth where dredging is regularly carried out to maintain the shipping channel to the port of Larne. Previously, a complex spit system existed at the mouth of the estuary, formed where sediments from further along the shore were washed into the relatively calm waters of the lough. Very little evidence of these natural spits remain, as they were lost under port and industrial developments. In the upper reaches of the estuary at Ballycarry there is an area of salt marsh. [3]

Places of interest

Chaine Memorial Tower lighthouse is on the west side of the entrance to Larne Lough.

Archaeology

At Ballylig, Larne Lough, two dugout boats were found in peat which was overlaid with marine mud. The dugouts were radiocarbon dated 3641-3378 BC and 3700-3382 BC. Both were found close to a sea lough with no navigable rivers, so they were likely to have been used to travel at sea. [4]

Flora and fauna

In 1929, a "Coastal Survey" of the algae of the north-east of Ireland was begun when a few members of the Botanical Society in The Queen's University of Belfast investigated and mapped the distribution of the seaweeds. Among the algae recorded was Ascophyllum nodosum var. minor Turn. [5] The northern end was also surveyed. [6] The vegetation now is dominated by mid-upper salt marsh communities and a Phragmites reedbed, with some saltmarsh pans. [3]

Ramsar site

The Larne Lough Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention), is 395.94 hectares in area, at latitude 54 48 54 N and longitude 05 44 38 W. It was designated a Ramsar site on 4 March 1997. The Ramsar site boundary entirely coincides with both that of the Larne Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest and the Larne Lough Special Protection Area. The site qualified under Criterion 2 of the Ramsar Convention because it supports numbers of vulnerable and endangered Irish Red Data Book bird species. The site regularly supports nationally important numbers of breeding populations of roseate terns and common tern. It also qualified under Ramsar criterion 6 due to populations occurring at levels of international importance of light-bellied brent geese. [3] Swan Island has, in the recent past, held internationally important numbers of breeding roseate tern. [7]

Railway Line

The Belfast-Larne railway line brings the line alongside the shore line from Larne Harbour, Larne Town, Glynn, Magheramorne, and Ballycarry, over the section of land linking Islandmagee to Whitehead railway station then running alongside Belfast Lough via Carrickfergus and Belfast Central to Belfast Great Victoria Street railway station.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Islandmagee Human settlement in Northern Ireland

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Belfast Lough

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Ythan Estuary

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Dál nAraidi

Dál nAraidi or Dál Araide was a Cruthin kingdom, or possibly a confederation of Cruthin tribes, in north-eastern Ireland during the Middle Ages. It was part of the over-kingdom of Ulaid, and its kings often contended with the Dál Fiatach for the over-kingship of the province. At its greatest extent, the borders of Dál nAraidi roughly match those of County Antrim, and they seem to occupy the same area as the earlier Robogdii of Ptolemy's Geography, a region shared with Dál Riata. Their capital was Ráth Mór outside Antrim, and their eponymous ancestor is claimed as being Fiachu Araide.

Belfast–Larne line

The Belfast–Larne line, or Larne line, is a railway line in Northern Ireland, operated by Northern Ireland Railways. It runs as double track along the majority of its route north along the scenic east Antrim coastline from Belfast to the coastal seaport town of Larne, serving commuters and ferry passengers.

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Portmore Lough

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Lough Beg

Lough Beg is a small freshwater lake north of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. The lake is located on the border between County Londonderry and County Antrim. The Lower Bann flows into it from Lough Neagh at the southern end and continues on its route to the sea from the northern end. Church Island which is on the lake was the site of a pre-Viking monastery and during the summer it is normally reachable by foot. Due to the area's many rare plants and it being a stopping point for migrating birds the area was protected as the Lough Beg National Nature Reserve.

The Gobbins

TheGobbins is a cliff-face path at Islandmagee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the Causeway Coastal Route. It runs across bridges, past caves and through a tunnel, along The Gobbins cliffs. The cliffs are recognised for their rich birdlife, important geology and notable species.

Belfast Lower Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Belfast Lower is a barony in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. To its east lies the east-Antrim coast and Belfast Lough, and it is bordered by four other baronies: Belfast Upper to the south, Carrickfergus to the east, Antrim Upper to the west; Glenarm Upper to the north. The Forth and Milewater rivers both flow through Belfast Lower, with Larne harbour also situated in the barony.

Mary Johnston(e) Lynn was an Irish botanist known for her phyto-ecological studies in Northern Ireland.

References

  1. "Larne Lough". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. See Google Books for published examples online.
  3. 1 2 3 "Designated and Proposed Ramsar sites in Northern Ireland" (PDF). Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  4. O'Sullivan, Aidan; Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 74. ISBN   978-0-7524-2509-2.
  5. Lynn, M.J. 1960 Coastal survey X (new series) southern end of Larne Lough, Co. Antrim. Ir. Nat. J.13:159–163.
  6. Lynn, M.J. 1961. Coastal survey XI (new series) northern end of Larne Lough, Co. Antrim. Ir. Nat. J.13:223–227.
  7. "Larne Lough Ramsar site". NI Environment Agency. Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. Retrieved 2008-07-07.