The Murrins 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.


The Murrins Nature Reserve is situated in the beautiful foothills of the Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone, south of the A505 between Omagh and Cookstown.


The Murrins Nature Reserve was formed from a retreating ice sheet dammed into a lake into which rivers brought vast quantities of sediment. The sediment was then deposited in a series of deltas. This is one of the main reasons why the site has generated a lot of geo-morphological and ecological interest.

Today, this dry raised fan of material supports rich heath vegetation dominated by bell heather which is home to the red grouse. Its dry ridges extend out like a delta into a sea of blanket bog, itself only some 4000 years old.

Turf-cutters here have unearthed the remains of a bronze-age field network under the bog, established at a time when the climate was different and the growing qualities of soil quickly became exhausted.

Perched among the glacial moraines (rocky debris or till carried along and deposited by a glacier) are several small lakes called kettle-holes, formed from melted blocks of ice abandoned by the retreating ice-sheet. They are the haunt of mallard, teal and the occasional nesting feral grey-lag goose.

Around some of the lakes, green and blue damselflies dart amongst the swampy vegetation which includes the rare broad-leaved mud sedge. This is a place of open views, expansive bogland and the ever-present whistling wind which makes this a fitting place for hunting falcons.

Further information

Visitors are asked to contact the Site manager to arrange access on Tel. 02866344803

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