Marble Arch 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 123350


Issuing from an underground cave, the Cladagh River journeys down a narrow, steeply-sided gorge towards the Erne Lowland. The gorge is thickly covered by a long established ash woodland.

The Arch over the river, formed when the cave roof collapsed, gets its name from the polished limestone which people used to think was marble. Wood goldilocks grow here as evidence that this is a very old woodland, also early purple orchid, birds' nest orchid, bluebell and wild strawberry. Red squirrels may be glimpsed in the tree canopy.

There are areas where landslips on the steep sides of the gorge have taken trees with them, which adds to the interest of the site. There is a folly, locally known as The Cottage, overlooking the tourist entrance to Marble Arch. This was used for shooting parties in Victorian times and is well worth a visit.


The visitor centre at the Marble Arch Caves is open from late March to September with toilets and cafe.
The reserve Site manager can be contacted at Castle Archdale Country Park Tel. 028 6862 1588.

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