Turmennan is the only transition mire in the CANN project, and is one of the best examples of this habitat type in Northern Ireland. It was once ear-marked as a potential landfill site but was designated as an ASSI in 1999.

This wetland, like many wetlands, exists as an “island” within the intensively farmed agricultural landscape of County Down.

Notable plants such as Marsh St John’s Wort, Floating Club Rush, and Least Bur-reed can be found at Turmennan. The site is also a wetland haven for insects, with 39 aquatic beetle species recorded here, as well as the endangered Marsh Fritillary butterfly.


CANN Works

Over the lifespan of the project, the CANN team will be working on producing a Conservation Action Plan for Turmennan SAC. As part of producing this plan detailed surveys are underway to better understand the very complex hydrology of the site. On the ground conservation actions to be completed include the hand-cutting of tall reeds, scrub eradication and removal, and the introduction of suitable grazing.


Once a widespread sight, the beautiful Marsh Fritillary butterfly has seen a large drop in numbers all across Europe and as such is in need of urgent conservation action. Reasons for this decline include the loss of suitable habitats, habitat fragmentation and unsuitable land management. The Marsh Fritillary lay their eggs on Devil’s Bit Scabious – the caterpillars sole food plant – so that the caterpillars can feed when they hatch. The presence alone of the food plant is not a guarantee of the Marsh Fritillary being present – they need a number of other factors to line-up to create a suitable sustaining habitat. The checkerboard pattern of orange, brown, black and cream makes the Marsh Fritillary butterfly easily recognised. The best time to see them in flight is between late May and mid-July.
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