Killykeeghan and Crossmurrin Nature Reserve

Killykeeghan and Crossmurrin Nature Reserve

Sandwiched between Cuilcagh Mountain and the Erne Lowlands lies the most extensive area of limestone grassland in Northern Ireland. At one time the entire area was wooded with hazel, elm and ash. With the clearances for farming since the Stone Age, only a few patches of hazel scrub now remain. The scrub shelters delicate woodland flowers including wood sorrel and primroses. The cuckoo is frequently heard in May.

Meadow pipits perch on branches but are most commonly seen rising and falling in jerky flight over the grassland. The thin soils covering the grey limestone support a rich variety of herbs and grasses. The grasses are grazed by sheep and this allows herbs like the colourful pink thyme, blue harebell and yellow bird's-foot trefoil, to flower and set seed. These herbs in turn provide food for insects such as the common blue and peacock butterflies.

In a patch of heath, bog cotton and yellow bog asphodel grow amongst ling heather. The Irish hare leaves conspicuous trails through the heath by nibbling off the heather shoots. Stoats can be observed darting along dry stone walls. These walls, which are such a feature of the landscape, are under threat as they are collected to be used in gardens.

 

Facilities

Parking
Toilets

Opening Hours

Car parking open from Easter to September.

Charges

Access: 

No charge

Parking: 

No charge

Getting There

From Florencecourt follow signs to the Marble Arch Caves. The nature reserve is one mile past the caves entrance drive.

Walk Trails

Circular, 0.5 miles

Marlbank (Killykeeghan). Walk through a limestone landscape in the shadow of Cuilcagh Mtn.

Linear, 1.6 miles

Cuilcagh Way - Walk 1 Cladagh Glen Walk. Path through the striking landscape of the Cladagh River gorge.

Cycling Routes

Circular, 73 miles

West Fermanagh Loop. A classic, uncompromising cycle through the magnificent West Fermanagh countryside..

Linear, 242 miles (390km)

Belfast to Ballyshannon. Nothing beats the sense of achievement or satisfaction of cycling a coast to coast route..

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Contact

+44(0)28 6862 1588

Location

Marlbank Rd
Legnabrocky
Femanagh
BT92 1EW

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courtesy of
Big Lottery Fund Ulster Garden Villages
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