|Native name||Loch Beag (Irish)|
|Basin countries||Northern Ireland|
|Official name||Lough Neagh & Lough Beg|
|Designated||5 January 1976|
Lough Beg (from Irish Loch Beag 'little lake' ) 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.
Church island is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Bellaghy; it is not a true island as it is usually accessible by foot, since the water in the lough has receding following the dredging of the River Bann in the 1930s. The church is reputed to date back to the time of Saint Patrick when he navigated the River Bann and founded a settlement. It has no spire, but there is a separate spire built beside it, erected so that Bishop Harvey, in the late 18th century, could see the spire from his home in Bellaghy. There is a famous stone, the Bullaun Stone, with a hollow that fills with water, which is said to have been worn down by the saint as he prayed. Pilgrims come to the island each year, on the first Sunday in September, to celebrate the feast of Saint Thaddeus.
Lough Neagh and Lough Beg are a nature reserve and have been designated as a Ramsar site. The reserve includes floodplains and marshes, as well as land used for grazing. The site is used by numerous species of resident and migratory waterbirds, including swans, geese and ducks.It is also of interest to botanists as the hooded lady's tresses orchid grows here, the Lough Neagh basin being one of the few locations in Ireland where it occurs.
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,046 square kilometres (1,176 sq mi) and has a population of about 618,000. County Antrim has a population density of 203 people per square kilometre or 526 people per square mile. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as well as part of the historic province of Ulster.
County Armagh is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the southern shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 1,326 km2 and has a population of about 174,792. County Armagh is known as the "Orchard County" because of its many apple orchards. The county is part of the historic province of Ulster.
Nature reserves in Northern Ireland, are designated and maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Lough Corrib is a lake in the west of Ireland. The River Corrib or Galway River connects the lake to the sea at Galway. It is the largest lake within the Republic of Ireland and the second largest on the island of Ireland. It covers 176 km² and lies mostly in County Galway with a small area of its northeast corner in County Mayo.
Lough Neagh is a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. It is the largest lake by area in the British Isles, with a surface area of 151 square miles. It supplies 40% of Northern Ireland's water. Its main inflows are the Upper River Bann and River Blackwater, and its main outflow is the Lower River Bann. Its name comes from Irish: Loch nEachach, meaning "Eachaidh's lake". The lough is owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury.
Lough Erne is the name of two connected lakes in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the second-biggest lake system in Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the fourth biggest in Ireland. The lakes are widened sections of the River Erne, which flows north and then curves west into the Atlantic. The smaller southern lake is called the Upper Lough as it is higher up the river. The bigger northern lake is called the Lower Lough or Broad Lough. The town of Enniskillen lies on the short stretch of river between the lakes. The lake has more than 150 islands, along with many coves and inlets. When windy, navigation on Lower Lough Erne, running for 26 miles (42 km) almost to the Atlantic, can be something of a challenge with waves of open-sea dimensions. Shallow Upper Lough Erne, spreading southeast of Enniskillen for about 12 miles, is a maze of islands. The River Erne is 80 miles (129 km) long and drains an area of about 1680 square miles (4,350 km2).
Lough Owel is a mesotrophic lough in the Midlands of Ireland, situated north of Mullingar, the county town of Westmeath. It has a maximum depth of 21 metres (69 ft). Water from Lough Owel feeds the Royal Canal, a canal crossing Ireland from Dublin to the River Shannon. The lake is close to the N4 primary road.
The River Bann is the longest river in Northern Ireland, its length, Upper and Lower Bann combined, being 129 km (80 mi). However, the total length of the River Bann, including its path through the 30 km (19 mi) long Lough Neagh is 159 km (99 mi). Another length of the River Bann given is 90 mi. The river winds its way from the southeast corner of Northern Ireland to the northwest coast, pausing in the middle to widen into the enormous Lough Neagh. The River Bann catchment has an area of 5,775 km2. The River Bann has a mean discharge rate of 92 m3/s. According to C. Michael Hogan, the Bann River Valley is a settlement area for some of the first human arrivals in Ireland after the most recent glacial retreat. The river has played an important part in the industrialisation of the north of Ireland, especially in the linen industry. Today salmon and eel fisheries are the most important economic features of the river. The river is often used as a dividing line between the eastern and western areas of Northern Ireland, often labelled the "Bann divide". Towns, councils and businesses "west of the Bann" are often seen as having less investment and government spending than those to the east. It is also seen as a religious, economic and political divide, with Catholics and Irish nationalists being in the majority to the west, and Ulster Protestants and unionists in the majority to the east; and with the financial and industrial capital of Greater Belfast to the east with the west of the Bann being more agricultural and rural.
Carlingford Lough is a glacial fjord or sea inlet that forms part of the border between Northern Ireland to the north and the Republic of Ireland to the south. On its northern shore is County Down and on its southern shore is County Louth. At its extreme interior angle it is fed by the Newry River and the Newry Canal.
Belfast Lough is a large, intertidal sea inlet on the east coast of Northern Ireland. At its head is the city and port of Belfast, which sits at the mouth of the River Lagan. The lough opens into the North Channel and connects Belfast to the Irish Sea.
Ballynahone Bog is a raised bog, situated in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, about 3 km south of Maghera, on low-lying ground immediately north of the Moyola River about 14 km from its mouth at Lough Neagh. It is one of the largest lowland raised bogs in Northern Ireland.
The River Blackwater or Ulster Blackwater is a river mainly in County Armagh and County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It also forms part of the border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, flowing between Counties Tyrone and Monaghan, intersecting into County Monaghan briefly. Its source is to the north of Fivemiletown, County Tyrone. The river divides County Armagh from County Tyrone and also divides County Tyrone from County Monaghan.
Portmore Lough is a small lake in southwest County Antrim, Northern Ireland that drains water into nearby Lough Neagh. It is roughly circular and covers an area of 286 hectares. The Lough and its shoreland is designated a Ramsar site, a Special Protection Area (SPA) and an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). The lough is now part of a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds nature reserve.
Coney Island is an island in Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated approximately 1 km from Maghery in County Armagh, is thickly wooded and of nearly 9 acres (36,000 m2) in area. It lies between the mouths of the River Blackwater and the River Bann in the south-west corner of Lough Neagh. Boat trips to the island are available at weekends from Maghery Country Park or Kinnego Marina. The island is owned by the National Trust and managed on their behalf by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Coney Island Flat is a rocky outcrop adjacent to the island. Although Samuel Lewis called Coney Island the only island in County Armagh, Armagh's section of Lough Neagh also includes Croaghan Island, as well as the marginal cases of Padian and Derrywarragh Island.
Bannfoot is a small village in the townland of Derryinver, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It sits where the Upper Bann flows into Lough Neagh. Bannfoot is within the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.
Loughinsholin is a barony in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Its southeast borders the northwest shore of Lough Neagh, and itself is bordered by seven other baronies: Dungannon Upper to the south; Strabane Upper to the west; Keenaght and Coleraine to the north; Kilconway, Toome Upper, and Toome Lower to the east. It was formed largely on the extent of the medieval Irish túath of Uí Tuirtri.
Oxford Island is a National Nature Reserve and public recreation site on the southern shores of Lough Neagh at Lurgan, County Armagh. The site covers 282 acres and is owned and maintained by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Much of the area is designated as a National Nature Reserve due to its wide variety of natural habitats. The purpose of all work on the island is to maintain biodiversity and to provide a recreation area for everyone.