Wildlife at Crom

One of the many butterflies to be found at Crom

The mature oak woodland, meadows, parkland and snaking waterways of Upper Lough Erne mean Crom is a haven for wildlife. The estate is home to a vast array of rare species like otters, red squirrels and pine martens as well as some of the UK's rarest butterflies and moths.

Butterflies

Crom is a hotspot for butterflies in Northern Ireland, who appreciate our flower-rich meadows and hedgerows. The woodland glades and mature oaks provide a home for rare species like the silver washed fritillary and the purple hairstreak.

Butterflies like the silver washed fritillary love the sunny glades created by coppicing
A silver washed fritillary butterfly
Butterflies like the silver washed fritillary love the sunny glades created by coppicing

Moths

Hundreds of species of moths have been recorded at Crom over the years from the big and beautiful elephant hawk-moth to the rare and elusive dark umber. The diversity of these special creatures means various moths can be spotted from March right through to October.

A colourful 'garden tiger' moth recorded during our regular surveys
A garden tiger moth at Crom estate, Co. Fermanagh
A colourful 'garden tiger' moth recorded during our regular surveys

Pine Martens

Although rare in large parts of England, pine martens are thriving at Crom and spotted regularly by staff and visitors alike. They are incredibly adaptable and eat almost anything from birds nests, to beetles, to berries. They are mostly nocturnal hunters but the long hours of daylight during summer mean they often venture out during the day.

Lough Erne at Crom, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Elusive pine martens caught on camera at Crom  

The pine marten is an elusive creature that's rare, protected and very difficult to spot. Thanks to infra-red cameras, we've now got footage of this protected species in their natural habitat.

Red Squirrels

The vast expanse of woodland at Crom is perfect for red squirrels. Habitat loss, coupled with the invasion of the non-native grey squirrel are the main driving factors behind the decline of the red squirrel. New evidence suggests that pine martens are on the increase and they seem to have a negative effect on the presence of the grey squirrel, meaning the red squirrel population has a chance to recover. Keep an eye out near any hazel trees from which they harvest the nuts to keep them going through the harsh winter months.

The woodland at Crom is host to many red squirrels
A red squirrel at Crom estate
The woodland at Crom is host to many red squirrels

Otters

Otters regularly travel round the meandering waterways of the islands that make up Upper Lough Erne, searching for food and patroling their territories. It's often possible to spot their trails through the woodland or occasional fish-bones where they've stopped to feed. 

Close up of otter on the River Itchen.
Close up of otter on the River Itchen
Close up of otter on the River Itchen.