Flora & Fauna

Geology, Walking0 comments

Cuilcagh many different natural habitats mean it is a perfect place to enjoy nature.

From the summit, there are breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, including a sweeping expanse of blanket bog, stretching like a huge cloak across the middle slopes of the mountain.

This is one of the largest blanket bogs in Northern Ireland and one of the most intact blanket bogs in Western Europe.

Blanket bogs are wet, squelchy places where the peat forms from the remains of mosses and other plants in a layer typically 2-3 meters deep and supporting unique plants, animals and insects that are adapted to the water-logged ground.

Blanket bogs usually exist alongside other habitat types and on Cuilcagh, areas of heath are commonly mistaken for blanket bog as they contain many of the same types of plants and animals. Montane heath is an extremely rare type of heathland, found on the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain, which is one of only a handful of locations in Ireland.

Many streams and rivers flow off the upper slopes of Cuilcagh through the blanket bog and sink into the limestone carving out a network of hidden caves. The lower slopes of Cuilcagh are dominated by rare limestone grasslands that are awash with colour when wildflowers and herbs burst into life in the spring. Cuilcagh also supports a diverse range of animal, bird and insect life including the rare Golden Plover.