Carneal is of ‘special interest’

A SITE near Gleno is to be designated an area of special scientific interest (ASSI) by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency due to its rare geology.

Carneal, an area of 2.35 hectares which lies about 1km south west of the village, was chosen because it contains an unusual range of minerals.

It is understood that these minerals, which date back 65 million years, were formed by the intrusion of a Palaeogene age doleraite plug into the local Ulster white limestone.

There are only 25 known sites worldwide where geochemical interactions of the type seen at Carneal occur.

The site has one landowner and they have been informed.

NIEA is currently engaged in a province-wide ASSI declaration programme, which is expected to continue until 2016.

To date, 335 ASSIs have been designated in Northern Ireland.