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UK Upland Waters Monitoring Network

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picture of Coney Glen Burn (c) Ewan Shilland

Coneyglen Burn

Coneyglen Burn was added to the Monitoring Network, with funding from Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland), in April 1990.

Catchment Characteristics

The Coneyglen Burn lies in the Sperrin Mountains of central Northern Ireland. The catchment area is 1264 ha and rises from 230 m at the sampling station to a maximum of 562 m at Carnanelly. The underlying geology is schists of the Mullaghcarn series, which occur in places as rocky outcrops. Catchment soils are dominated by blanket peats and peaty podsols. Adjacent to the stream the thin peat is interspersed with alluvium, sands and gravels.

Originally some 4% of the catchment (the lower section) was planted with conifers but this has increased slightly since 2000 as the forested area was enlarged. Previously improved grazing land in the middle section of the catchment, adjacent to a small farm, is no longer actively managed, except by grazing, and is reverting to moorland, with a predominance of Juncus species. Old field systems and drainage patterns suggest a higher intensity of land-use in the past. Elsewhere, the vegetation is characterised by moorland species, notably Calluna. Contemporary land-use and management is confined to low-intensity sheep grazing and infrequent heather burning.

The catchment lies within the Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The annual rainfall is c.1500 mm.

Site Characteristics

The altitude range is from 230 m at the sampling station to 460 m at the headwaters. The channel section utilised for biological sampling is straight and about 4 m wide and is characterised by shallow rapids with a stream bed comprising largely bedrock and boulders.

Page last modified: 3rd February, 2016