Annagariff Nature Reserve

Nature reserves are chosen from among the very best examples of our wildlife, habitats and geology. They contain a wide range of species, communities and geology and their designation is a public recognition by Government of their importance.


Annagariff Wood is located just off the M1 at Junction 13, and within Peatlands Park.  In fact, Peatlands Park is home to 95% of the NI population of alder buckthorn. 

Sights and sounds

In this nature reserve the woodland floor is full of lovely wild flowers during spring and summer which give way to lots of different fungi in autumn. In summer, birds such as warblers fill the glades with birdsong. In winter watch for wandering hen harriers, sparrow hawks and peregrine falcons hunting for food.

Annagarriff Wood is at the heart of this reserve, having survived as a hunting region for over 200 years.  Although felled on occasion, it has never been farmed and most of the trees that originate from here are still present.  Oak and birch tend to cover this area but other species like yew, aspen and alder buckthorn may also be found.

Jays are often seen near the canopy while on the forest floor, many flowers compete for the spring light and badgers are digging in the gravelly soils. Wood ants are spotted here and this is the only Irish site where this form of species can be found. Their nests, some as big as a double bed, are monuments to their hard work. Extensive fens and relict uncut raised bogs fringe the woods, home to many rare species of butterflies and moths.

Six species of summering warblers fill the glades with birdsong, while in winter solitary peregrine falcons or hen harriers hunt for wood pigeon and duck. There are also many different types of plants present here with many rare and interesting bog species including four carnivorous types that trap and eat insects to supplement the lack of nutrients available in this harsh environment.

Visitors are advised that it is easy to get lost in the woods and treacherous fens.  Therefore, permission to leave the path system must be obtained from the Site Manager in advance. 


Facilities at Annagariff include a car park, visitors’ centre, toilets, information points and paths at Peatlands Park.  A single path runs around the reserve with access one mile from the Peatlands Park visitor centre.

Further information

Site manager: 02838399195

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