Crom has a varied terrian from woodlands to wetlands, making it a perfect home for a huge variety of plants and animals. This diversity of habitats means Crom is an important conservation site.
Ireland has very little native broadleaved woodland remaining but Crom is home to a large portion of it. The woodland here is dominated by oak which is known to support the greatest diversity of life in terms of lichens, mosses, invertebrates and even birds and mammals. Much of our woodland is known as wet woodland due to its proximity to Lough Erne. This habitat is important for the alder buckthorn shrub which supports the rare dark umber and brown scallop moth. Part of our work involes managing feral grazing and making sure the woodlands aren't overcome with invasive species such as rhododendron to ensure the they don't lose their character and diversity.
Crom is also home to large areas of species-rich grassland teeming with life, from a huge range of wildlflowers to a whole host of invertebrates. Our grasslands are generally quite wet which gives them their own character and a particular mix of species. Flowers like ragged robin, meadowsweet and purple loosestrife love the soggy ground and support a variety of bee, butterfly and moth species who in turn support the dragonfly and damselfly species who prey on them. This grassland takes careful management as without grazing or regular cutting the grasslands would swallow up the diverse flora, decimating the array of invertebrates that depend on them.
Another important habitat at Crom is Lough Erne itself. The waters support a number of fish including perch, bream, brown trout and eels. Fishing has brought many people to the shores of Lough Erne over the years but it also brings some of our most loved wildlife, like the herons, great crested grebes and otters.
Parkland is the combination of grazing pasture and mature broad-leaved trees such as oak and ash. The main entrance to Crom is surrounded by this parkland with the sheep and cattle keeping the grass short during the growing season and large trees providing shelter in the rain. This habitat supports a great diversity of bird species which love searching for worms in the short turf and exposed soil torn up by the livestock. You’ll often see pied wagtails and starlings as well as fieldfares and redwings during the winter, taking advantage of the buffet that’s on offer.