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

Crom’s resident pine martens are some of just 320 thought to be left in Northern Ireland. Pine martens were historically widespread across Ireland but the disappearance of woodlands since the 18th-century has led to a drastic decline in numbers.

‘Crom represents some of the very best, most preserved semi-natural woodlands anywhere on the island of Ireland,’ said Crom ranger Malachy Martin. ‘Although we were aware that pine martens existed here, we didn’t have any detailed information on them.’

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.

Fishing at Crom

Fermanagh offers some of the best coarse fishing in Northern Ireland, and Crom is one of the most picturesque places to avail of that offer. Shoreline fishing pegs are available on Upper Lough Erne to fish for bream, roach and perch, while Crom also offers boat fishing for pike on the inland Green Lough.

Whilst fishing, anglers can relax in the peace and tranquillity of Crom and enjoy views of two of Crom’s historic estate buildings, the Old Schoolhouse and Derryvore Church. Aside from the fish, there will also be a wealth of other wildlife to view, including dragonflies, butterflies, kingfishers, swans, ducks and grebes, with otters and pine martens also a possibility.

The boat house at Crom estate

Before fishing on Lough Erne a permit must be purchased, 3 day or 14 day permits are available from the Crom Visitor Reception. There are also pegs available for hire on Inisherk Island at £5 per peg per day. At Green Lough (Nalughoge Lough), there is a small rowing boat during the main season that can be hired for £10 with 3 persons maximum in the boat. Click here for more information on boat hire at Crom.

For further information on prices or to book a fishing permit, fishing peg, or boat hire please call the Visitor Centre on 028 6773 8118.