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UK Upland Waters Monitoring Network

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picture of Beagh's Burn (c) Ewan Shilland

Beagh's Burn

Catchment Characteristics

Beagh's Burn lies in the Glens of Antrim in north-eastern Northern Ireland. The catchment area is 302 ha and rises steeply from 150 m, just above the confluence with the Glendun River, to a maximum of 397 m at Oghtbristacree. Localised mineral soils in the lowermost area give way to blanket peats which dominate most of the catchment. In the upper catchment the peat is partly drained and in places extensively eroded. The underlying geology is quartz-schists of the Glendun series.

Deciduous trees grow on the steep slopes immediately adjacent to the lowermost stream stretch which coincides with the sampling station. Elsewhere moorland species characterised by Calluna, Molinia and Sphagnum mosses, comprise the catchment vegetation. Old walls, derelict sheep pens and improvement of the lowest grazing land attest to a former level of land-use which exceeded the present low intensity sheep grazing.

The annual rainfall is c. 1600 mm.

The entire catchment lies within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the majority is also part of the Antrim Hills Special Protection Area.

Site Characteristics

The altitude range is 230 m from the sampling station to the headwaters. The channel section utilised for biological sampling lies just upstream of the confluence with the Glendun River and is steep, being punctuated with waterfalls and rapids. The 2-4 m wide stream bed comprises mainly bedrock, boulders and cobbles and the sampling reach is heavily shaded by ash, willow and hawthorn in summer.

Associated Networks

Beagh's Burn is also a site for the UK Eutrophying and Acidifying atmospheric Pollutants (UKEAP) network, data from which are available here.

Page last modified: 3rd February, 2016