Nature Reserves in County Down

There are three nature reserves on Forest Service land in County Down

Bohill Forest (Nature Reserve)

The woodland in the reserve consists of secondary regrowth with abundant holly following clearfelling and coppicing many years ago. There are several clearings some with bracken predominant and others with heather.

The reserve provides optimum conditions for the Holly Blue butterfly which is scarce in Northern Ireland.

Map reference: J396459, 4 miles SE of Ballynahinch
Hectares: 2.8
Access from public road to east


Hollymount Forest (National Nature Reserve)

The reserve is a fine example of alder and willow carr.

There are a wide variety of sedges, perhaps the most spectacular being the extensive bed of tussock sedge, Carex paniculata; the pond sedge C. riparia is also common. The wide stagnant ditches in the reserve contain the water violet, Hottonia palustris which is very rare in Ireland.

Map reference: J466399, 1 mile W of Downpatrick
Hectares: 12.5
Alder carr and fen
Restricted access October-January; via forest road from public road west

Rostrevor Oakwood (Nature Reserve)

The wood is at least 250 years old and may include remnants of primeval forest. Mature oakwoods on underlaying Silurian rocks are rare in Northern Ireland.

Map reference: J186175, 1 mile SE of Rostrevor
Hectares: 20
Mature oakwood
Access by forest road from car park
Spring and summer

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