Rostrevor Oakwood 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: J 186170


Rostrevor Oakwood National Nature Reserve is a mature oak woodland covering 41 acres on a steep west-facing slope overlooking Carlingford Lough. Such woodlands are rare in Northern Ireland and at Rostrevor the wood, though natural in form, is possibly the product of regeneration after extensive felling during the late 1730s.

Beneath a closed canopy of mature oaks, other species such as ash, hazel, holly and wild cherry form an understory while the ground vegetation consists mostly of woodrush, wild garlic and bluebells. In turn, insects and other animals rely on the trees and plant life and together form a living community.

A casual visit between April and September is a good time to discover some of the woodland's birds and other wildlife. The distinctive songs of blackcaps, willow warblers and chiffchaffs can all be heard. You may also see jays and buzzards regularly soaring above and if you are really lucky, a red squirrel or a beautifully patterned silver-washed fritillary butterfly may also cross your path.

Please keep to the reserve's main trail - the undergrowth needs to be left undisturbed and harbours many of the young seedlings which will eventually replace the present fine oaks.


Small lay-by off Kilbroney Forest Drive, into the reserve and car parks toilets & restaurant facilities available at Kilbroney Park adjacent to the Nature Reserve.

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