Ballynahone Bog

Ballynahone Bog is the second largest intact bog in Northern Ireland, and is home to several nationally rare Sphagnum mosses, Liverwort and Bog rosemary. Managed as a Nature Reserve by CANN project partner Ulster Wildlife, Ballynahone is also believed to have the largest colony of Large-heath butterflies in Northern Ireland.

The bog surface here has well-developed hummock and pool complexes. Historical drains in the bog have been blocked and filled, and the bog is recovering well.

Ballynahone Bog

CANN Works

Over the lifespan of the project, the CANN team will be working on producing a Conservation Action Plan for Ballynahone Bog, and generating an up-to-date habitat map for the site. These documents will both be used to inform conservation decisions and management strategies, with an overall aim to guide the site towards a favourable conservation status. On the ground conservation actions to be carried out to improve the environment and conservation status at Ballynahone include the removal of invasive species (namely Rhododendron), habitat fencing, scrub eradication, drain blocking, and the potential removal of an area of bog contaminated with lead.


The Large heath butterfly is a species which is restricted to the wet boggy ground found on open bogs and wet heath, where Hare’s tail cottongrass (the food plant for the Large heath butterfly) grows in abundance. The butterflies sit with their wings closed, and the size of the eye spots found on the underside of their wings varies considerably depending on the location of that particular colony. Whilst Large heath butterflies can be found in huge numbers at scattered sites, they are now a priority species for conservation as their habitat is under threat and their population numbers as a result are in decline. The Large heath butterfly is represented on the CANN project logo.
Ballynahone Bog, Maghera

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