Nature in The Freshwater

Most of the park’s lakes hold brown trout, salmonoid fish and eels and eel. Lough Veagh has modest runs of salmon and sea trout as well as stocks of arctic charr. Like the salmon the charr is seagoing in arctic and sub-arctic regions, but in western Europe it is confined to freshwater lakes where it has remained since the ice age.

The ‘land-locked’ charr require cold and unpolluted water and, with such a commodity now scarce in Western Europe, it has become seriously endangered. Charr populations isolated in different lakes over the past 10, 000 years have evolved slight differences. Recent findings suggest that Glenveagh charr are significantly smaller than those in nearby Dunlewy Lake.

Waterfowl are of major interest in Glenveagh and highlight the northern or Scottish connection. Visitors include the red-throated diver, which is increasing in numbers in Scotland and spreading southwards. Lough Veagh has long been the haunt of the red throated diver and it nests in small numbers in the Park’s vicinity, its only Irish breeding centre. The divers feed in nearby coastal waters, and divers calling as they fly in from the sea to their nesting areas are an evocative feature of summer mornings in Glenveagh.

Hilltops & Uplands