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Pasture & Grasslands

Pasture & Grasslands
 
Pasture and grassland probably make up the largest of any habitats in Ireland due to our agricultural sector. Fields of green grass, grazed by livestock and fed by their manure. These high-nutrient soils are home to several grass species, the most common being perennial rye grass with some Italian ryegrass and Timothy. Other species likely to be found in these habitats are the well known leafy docks, rib-leaved plantains, pollinator-friendly clovers and of course the bright yellow buttercup.

 

As the land slopes downwards you can see that it gets wetter, with rushes and irises becoming common amongst the grasses. In fact, to the north of here lies a turlough, a seasonal lake that dries in the summer but fills in the wetter months. Turloughs, from the Irish “tur-lach” meaning dry place, are a relatively uncommon geological feature, occurring almost exclusively in the Irish limestone landscape, with some being found in other parts of the British Isles. They are usually associated with a strange mixture of vegetation that is adapted to temporarily drying/wetting and can be important locations for overwintering migratory water birds, like white-fronted geese and whooper swans.

Fun fact: According to the Central Statistics Office, over 60% of land cover in Ireland is under grassland.