Join the hunt for the Ring of Gullion’s most beautiful creatures.
Want to discover the back garden wildlife stars in your area? Want to help Sir David Attenborough measure the health of the planet? Want to get outdoors and have some fun? Join the Ring of Gullion Landscape AONB and Landscape Partnership Scheme for the Big Butterfly Count Safari on Thursday 6th August for a free coach tour on the hunt for butterflies. As part of the Lúnasa Festival, the scheme has teamed up with Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland to invite you and your family, to join them on a butterfly safari among the rich heritage of the Ring of Gullion area.
The butterfly safari will be starting at Slieve Gullion Forest Park at 11.00am and heading by coach to four predominant natural and built heritage sites in the Ring of Gullion. These sites will include Killevy old churches, an important early convent of Killevy and Urney Graveyard where the poet Peadar O’Doirnin is buried. We will be then stopping for a cup of tea in Jonesborough. After lunch, we will be heading to Clontygora, known locally as the ‘King’s Ring’, this court tomb has a prominent position in the southeast part of the rugged Slieve Gullion ring-dyke. Our final visit of the day on the Butterfly Safari will be Moyry Castle, which is a 17th-century campaign fort overlooks the Moyry Pass, the valley known as the ‘Gap of the North’.
Councillor Naomi Bailie, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said “the Ring of Gullion contains the remains of 20 or so large stone tombs. Many of them are situated in prominent positions with magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. They are also wildlife havens for a number of butterflies. We are hoping that the weather will be with us to enable us to experience these beautiful creatures among this rich heritage.”
The Big Butterfly Count which runs from the 17th July to 9th August, is a national survey, which only takes 15mins where you record the butterflies you see in your garden, or it can be a local park, or anywhere you fancy.
Butterflies react quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators, any recorded declines are a good early warning for the wider biodiversity. For details on how to take part in this year’s Butterfly Count log on to http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/about.
Places are limited for the safari and booking is essential. If you would like to have a moth trap, the night before (5th August), please contact the Ring of Gullion Office on (028) 3082 8590 or email email@example.com. Please bring a packed lunch. There will be quite a bit of walking involved, so walking boots/flat shoes and waterproofs are recommended.
This event is free and supported by Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland.
If you would like book your seat, visit the website www.ringofgullion.org or call into the office in Crossmaglen Community Centre, O'Fiaich Square, Crossmaglen, BT35 9AA Tel:-(028) 3082 8590.