Boorin 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.


Grid Reference: H 495846


The heaths and heathers you see today are only a thin cover, clothing the debris of glaciers long ago. Around 10,000 years ago, retreating ice sheets left behind vast amounts of sands and gravels over much of Northern Ireland. At Boorin, these glacial deposits take the form of small pointed hills. Over time, the areas in between have become filled with either peat bog or small loughs known as kettle-hole lakes.

In summer, the air above is filled with the song of skylarks and a frequent sight on a calm day is a family of buzzards circling lazily over the surrounding countryside. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a covey of Red Grouse as it erupts from the heather.

At the north end of the reserve, on a steep slope overlooking Gortin, is an area of mature Oak-Birch woodland. The local clean moist air, together with the micro-climate in the wood has helped the establishment of a rich variety of mosses and lichens on the tree trunks

Grazing of the heather by sheep is part of the management of the reserve so visitors are asked not to bring dogs on to the site.

The summer is a time to guard against anything that may cause fire. The woodland is on a steep and uneven slope and some of the kettle-hole lakes are quite deep.


Car parking close to Gortin Lakes just off the B48.

There are no formal paths in the reserve so appropriate footwear is advisable.

Site Manager: 028 6862 1588.

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