Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy National Park


Location: County Mayo Map

Area: 11,779 ha


Ballycroy National Park is a nature reserve in County Mayo in Ireland. Ballycroy National Park covers an area of 11,779 ha. The lands on which the park was created were previously used for peat mining and agriculture, as well as for recreation, including hunting and fishing. In the park there are remains of buildings of various ages, mainly used as hunting lodges. Before the creation of the park, land was purchased by the state.

The Bangor Trail, which has existed since the end of the 16th century, runs through the park. This route connects Newport with Bangor Erris. This path, before the start of road construction, was the main route linking Bangor Erris to the port. Goods transported in the port were transported through it, along the same route the Irish who emigrated to America moved in the opposite direction.

Ballycroy National Park contains one of Ireland’s fewer peatland ecosystems. In addition, there are other natural systems in the park: meadows, moorlands, lakes and river floodplains.

Of the mammals, a fox, a badger, an otter, a hare, a small shrew and several species of bats are found. There is a red deer on the borders of the park, which was released here and has never been seen before in this area. In groups of conifers there is a pine marten. Fish are found in the rivers (Atlantic salmon, trout, eel). There are many species of birds, including raven, whooper swan, various species of hawks and falcons.

Flora in the park is characteristic of the corresponding natural zones. So, in the swamps, mosses and Schoenus nigricans predominate. Several rare plant species are found, including Saxifraga hirculus, which is under protection.

The territory of the park, like the entire north of Mayo County, was formed in the Precambrian period. The west is composed of shales and gneisses, the east - mainly of quartzite. The relief was finally formed during the last glaciation, which gave the mountains a smooth outline and contributed to the emergence of many small lakes in the valleys.

In the village of Ballykroy open information center of the park. The park also has a hiking trail with information about plants.