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Ring of Gullion Biodiversity

The area today has a rich flora and fauna with many nationally and internationally important habitats and species.

Biodiversity in RoG

Nature Blog – Wild Gullion

There is lots of good work going on in the Ring of Gullion; building bird boxes, planting trees, feeding birds, and recording what you see. This is a place for you to share your Wild in Gullion Experiences with the world. Let us know; what you have seen recently, anything strange, new visitors to the garden, a wildlife campaign or anything else you are interested in.

Thank you for all your submissions on this blog, and please remember that your sightings only count if they are logged on CEDaRs website.

Ring of Gullion Partnership Tackle Giant Hogweed Head On

Update published on: June 22, 2016


The Ring of Gullion Partnership and a team of volunteers sprayed an established clump of the dangerous non-native invasive Giant Hogweed at Cloghogue today. We should see the results of the herbicide within a few days.  If you see any non-native invasives in South Armagh let us know.

Confirmed outbreak of squirrel pox in Tollymore Forest

Update published on: March 25, 2016


Unfortunately we have had another confirmed outbreak of squirrel pox in Tollymore Forest, County Down in the last week or so, a member of the public brought a dying red into the Ranger’s office which presented pox-like symptoms (although the animal was in otherwise good body condition). Tests carried out by Colin McInnes at the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh confirmed that the animal was positive for squirrel pox.

Tollymore group and Forest Service have initiated steps to remove squirrel feeders from the main forest but will continue to scatter feed at different locations.

Its highly likely that Squirrel pox is likely to pop up periodically at different locations and it is likely only to be spotted where there are squirrel group members or foresters on the ground with the knowledge of the symptoms. Hopefully this outbreak will burn itself out quickly and not be as damaging as 2011. Certainly the Garron outbreak last year seemed to disappear very quickly but indicates that there is some trigger out there that causes these outbreaks.

Keep your eyes and ears open over the next few months and keep knocking back those grey squirrels.

A visitor from Germany?

Update published on: April 20, 2016


A female and male Blackcap have being spotted in the area in the last week. A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name ‘northern nightingale’. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.

Unusual visitor spotted in South Armagh

Update published on: February 24, 2016


A racoon type creature which was recently spotted in South Armagh is believed to be an East Asian Racoon Dog.  The animal is highly invasive and could be devastating to local wildlife.  Members of the public are asked to be vigilant and report any sightings of the Racoon Dog to the Ring of Gullion AONB by emailing [email protected]

Red Squirrel in the Garden

Update published on: December 12, 2015


Some photos of a red squirrel in a garden in the Ring of Gullion. When the squirrel was foraging through the leaves on the lawn the coal tits etc. that use the bird table were dive-bombing it.


Update published on: December 7, 2015


The goats are down the mountain with the bad weather about 40 in one herd. I saw a big buck lying in an oul house this morning and I thought it was dead, but it resurrected itself and walked down the path in front of me.  A pair of blackcaps have arrived at my bird table.

Would yoube interested in joining a Ring of Gullion Nature Watch Group?

Update published on: May 3, 2016


Over the years, we have organised a number of awareness raising days in regards the biodiversity of the area ie moth nights, butterfly days, etc and we also have a Red Squirrel Group for the area. Now we want to set up a focused group to get more information on the map highlighting what species are in the area.

We are looking into the possibility of setting up a Ring of Gullion Nature Watch Group – where members pick an area/s – ie garden, school, work, community area to monitor for wildlife. The only requirement would be that the area is in  south Armagh.

We have built up quite a bit of biodiversity equipment and ID guides over the last few months and we lend these out to anyone who like to use them. We have also set up a Nature Blog here and we welcome any photos or information you want to share with us.

We are thinking of following this model for the group:-

  • A 4 day training course on monitoring.
  • Meeting the last Sunday of the month to discuss what we have found – eg. putting out moth traps the night before.
  • Meeting from May to October.
  • Having a closed facebook page where members can share photos of species they would like identified.

The group could focus on pollinators – ie bumblebees, butterflies and moths?

If you are interested, could you email [email protected] with answers to the following:-

  • Would you like to get involved in the Ring of Gullion Nature Watch Group?
  • What species would you like to focus on?
  • What day do you think would be best for meeting up? Would you be willing to meet on a Sunday morning?
  • The 4 day training course could be about pollinators – would you be interested in this? If so – would you rather it was run at weekend or during the week?
  • Possible events we could set up in regard species?

Any other comments/ suggestions are welcome. Please pass on to anyone else you think may be interested.

The ERG Fund has re-opened for the consideration of applications from registered individuals/groups.

Update published on: May 3, 2016


The ERG Fund has re-opened for the consideration of applications from registered individuals/groups.

The aim of the Fund is to encourage biological and geological recording in Northern Ireland. It is aimed at volunteer, unpaid recorders, or associations of recorders who do not have access to any other sources of financial support.

The updated application form can found here. This should be used if you wish to make an application. Please ensure that you also refer to the Guidance for ERG Grants in 2016–17.

The Fund is only open for applications between 19 April–13 May 2016.

Great Spotted Woodpecker spotted in the Ring of Gullion

Update published on: May 3, 2016


A Great Spotted Woodpecker has come to visit the Ring of Gullion area.

Where to see them

Woodlands, especially with mature broad-leaved trees, although mature conifers will support them. Also in parks and large gardens. Will come to peanut feeders and birdtables. Not found in the far North of Scotland. Only a handful of pairs nest in Ireland, but numbers are increasing. Common in England and Wales.

To find out more about this bird, click here.

How do I look?

Update published on: May 5, 2016


We had a Buzzard visiting the camera during the week and we got some great shots from every angle!!

Buzzard’s are now the commonest and most widespread bird of prey. It is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail. When gliding and soaring it will often hold its wings in a shallow ‘V’ and the tail is fanned. Birds are variable in colour from all dark brown to much paler variations, all have dark wingtips and a finely barred tail. Their plaintive mewing call could be mistaken for a cat. To find out more click here.

Butterfly Hunt Happening this Saturday in the Ring of Gullion

Update published on: May 6, 2016


BSBI Botanical Field Trip to Cavan

Update published on: June 18, 2016


BSBI are having a field trip this weekend (18th/19th June) in Cavan. They are meeting in Bailieborough in the Tesco’s car park, which is on the north east of the town between two roundabouts.
The more southern roundabout is on the R165 to Kings court and the more northern roundabout is on the R178 to Shercock.
The grid reference in N677 968 approximately.
They are meeting at 10am each day.

Bring wellington boots and walking boots. Email: Robert Northridge on [email protected] or ring 0044 7734390289 if you plan to attend.

Update published on:

Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

Quick Contact

Ring of Gullion AONB
Crossmaglen Community Centre,
O’Fiaich Square,
BT35 9AA.

Tel: +44 (0)330 137 4898


Visitor Servicing and Attractions: 0330 137 4046

for any visitor servicing questions.

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