This breathtaking expanse of intact lowland raised bog is 8,000 years old. The peat is nine metres deep at the bog’s core. The bog supports a group of plants that are specially adapted to living in such difficult conditions. Sphagnum mosses trap water to keep the bog wet which helps to make peat and these wet conditions are great for frogs, newts, dragonflies and damselflies but more surprisingly lizards are found here too.
The tiny red sundews that dot the bog eat insects to survive. Colour is abundant all year round with the white of the cotton-grasses and yellow of the asphodel in summer giving way to the autumn hues of the heathers, myrtle, mosses and lichens. In summer, keep an eye out for the many moths and butterflies flitting past like the rare large heath and vivid green hairstreak. In winter watch for snipe and woodcock feeding in the bog margins. There is a car park, visitors’ centre, toilets, information points and paths. Please do not stray from the designated path system as this is a wet fragile place.
Annagariff Wood NR
Annagariff Wood is set in the open bog landscape of Peatlands Park Oak. Birch, hazel and holly as well as rare alder buckthorn, yew and aspen are found here. In fact, Peatlands Park is home to 95% of the NI population of alder buckthorn. Listen for the screeching call of the jay as it flies through the trees. Watch for long-eared owls perched on the branches and for signs of badgers digging in the gravelly soil.
The woodland floor is carpeted in wild flowers during spring and summer which give way to lots of different fungi in autumn. Wood ants live here which is the only site in Northern Ireland for them. In summer, warblers fill the glades with birdsong. In winter watch for wandering hen harriers, sparrow hawks and peregrine falcons hunting for food.
There is a car park, visitors’ centre, toilets, information points and paths. Please do not stray from the designated path system as this is a wet fragile place.
**Please note the Country Park will be closed from 24th, 25th and 26th December (Inclusive) and 1st January**