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Lough Neagh

Lower Bann

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The Environment of Lough Neagh

Listings & Designations

Lough Neagh has the following listings and designations:

1. Area of Scientific Interest (1965) re-designated ASSI (1992)

2. Ramsar Site from 1973

3. 8 Nature Reserves

4. Special Protection Area (from 1998)

For more information on this and other designated sites, click here

Water Quality

Lough Neagh drains approximately 38% of Northern Ireland and the Lower Bann River is the sole outlet to the sea. Excess nutrients, particularly phosphorous and incidents of pollution all impact on the water quality in the local watercourses and in the open Lough. Pathogenic bacteria levels at watersport sites, large quantities of litter and instances of floating animal carcases also impact on the water quality of the Lough. For more information on Water Quality, click here

Water Quantity

The Lough level is controlled using the sluice gates at Toome. In winter months, during periods of high rainfall water levels can rise because the inflow far exceeds the outflow capacity of the Lower Bann River. The water level rise is particularly noticeable in the low-lying southern wetlands. High water levels can impact on many different activities, particularly agriculture. Lough levels also affect other activities, particularly navigation, and water quantity is important in relation to public water supply. Managing water levels is vital to maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. For more information on Water Quantity, click here


There are a number of organisations providing educational programmes connected to Lough Neagh. They are:


Craigavon Borough Council

Lough Neagh Discovery Centre


Ulster Wildlife Trust





More information ....

Biodivesity logo

Church Island, Lough Beg Lower Bann
© Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Advisory Committees 2006 | Images © Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Advisory Committees Photo Library