Flora & Fauna

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Abbeyshrule is a small village with typical urban habitats including buildings, roads and residential gardens. These are typically of low ecological value. However the gardens have potential to be valuable for wildlife, depending on their size and type of shrub and tree planting which they have. In addition, the centre of Abbeyshrule village has a number of features of significant biodiversity interest; including stone walls and bridges, a small apple orchard, the Royal Canal and the River Inny.

The village is located in a rural setting surrounded by good quality agricultural land which is farmed, primarily for grazing livestock. The surrounding farmland is characterised by intensively managed agricultural grasslands with hedgerows of varying ecological value .

A number of species occur in the Royal Canal, which though of considerable national and international importance, are not protected. For example, the rare and declining Glutinous Snail Myxas glutinosa which is virtually confined in Ireland to the Royal and Grand Canal systems and is only known recently from three sites in Britain (Kerney, 1999). This is an endangered species which is threatened primarily due to habitat degradation through eutrophication (reduction of water quality due to nutrient loading).

This species of Irish snail population is considered globally important as it represents up to 50% of the global population. This Glutinous Snail has been recorded at Scally’s Bridge on the Royal Canal, immediately north of Abbeyshrule village, with further records in the Royal Canal short distances up and downstream of the village.

The most important habitats in the village for fauna species are by far the River Inny and the Royal Canal. The hedgerows in the surrounding agricultural lands are also of value for song birds. Sadly as many have been severely cut back their value is somewhat reduced.

As the village has a small urban footprint, it benefits from the agricultural lands, including its many hedgerows. Biodiversity features exist immediately adjacent and alongside the village and in some cases are even part of the village itself.

A distinct aspect of our flora and fauna is the rich ecology found in the acres of virgin boglands that lie to the perimeter of our village. Nearby Newcastle Woods is a mecca for woodlands species and animal life.

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