Distance: 0.3 miles, circular, waymarking - interpretation panel clearly shows the walking route.
Time: less than 30 mins
Grassy track not suitable for buggies or wheelchair users or persons with limited mobility
Car park at McGrath's Cottage - Interpretation centre, toilets (open daily July & Aug and weekends in May, June and Sept)
This walk is part of the UNESCO endorsed Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
NB. As we do not have exact location information, this is a map of the local area.
Location / Directions
This nature reserve's limestone grassland is managed through conservation grazing and is characterized by low growing plants such as thyme and bird's foot trefoil. Bird's foot trefoil is the food plant of the caterpillars of the rare dingy skipper butterfly, which can be found here in early summer together with the common blue and another rarity, the marsh fritillary butterfly.
In places the limestone is overlain by patches of more acidic soils which, in early June are swathed with pink heath-spotted orchids. Scattered lesser butterfly orchids also occur here, their flowers mimicking white moths which are thus lured to pollinate them.
Rarities found here include field gentian and the small white mountain orchid. Hazel scrub has found a niche within the nature reserve as well. Here you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a red squirrel, pine martens or Irish stoat. Cuckoos can be heard calling as they seek out meadow pipits' nests in which to lay their eggs.The nature reserves can be accessed from the Marlbank Scenic Loop. A signposed car park is located approximately 1 mile/1.6km from the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre entrance.
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