The Tuairin na mBlat Trail

The Tuairin na mBlat Walking Trail. Black dotted ........ line on map
This walk is about 1.5 km long and should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
On your way…. This Trail covers an area which has long been a place of human activity. The late William Sheehan of Banteer 1894-1995 was born within the Park area on what was then the family farm. The Trail starts at the Visitor Centre at Point 1 then onto the Park entrance road passing plantings of Rosa Rugosa. View of lake Along The Tuairin na mBlat Walking TrailOn your left just behind the roses you can see the rapidly developing Golden Ash trees Fraxinus excelsior jaspidaea set in mowed lawns. The Trail now turns left and then right down a narrow winding path through trees set in mown lawns on your right. To The left rough grass is retained and is planted with Willows Salix alba chermesina, Birches Betula verrucosa and Lombardy Poplar Poplus nigra italica. The path now joins the perimeter path of the Ornamental Lake at point 11. This lake and the two others below were “built” in 1992. The Lakes are fed by water channeled form the Abannban River, via a reservoir and sluice gate. There is a considerable population of Brown trout in the lake, although mainly small, with roughly four to the pound, there are also some sizeable fish. More fortunate visitors may observe the otter at this point as it hunts the waters or dries itself on the grassy banks. The shelf built into the lake edge encourages marginal vegetation and on a practical note enhances safety. The path cuts through ornamental plantings that are mulched with tree bark to discourage opportunistic wild plants. Good clumps of Golden Elder Sambucus nigra aurea are developing as are Dogwoods Cornus alba sibirica and the Willow Salix udensin sekka, which comes from Sacchslin Island, north of Japan. Wildfowl including Mute Swans drop in from time to time but we fear that the presence of feral mink in the area has dissuaded many such ground nesting birds from settling here so far. At point 12 the Ornamental Lake drains via a tumbling waterfall into the second lake below and a stairway allows you to follow its course. As you wander round to the left of the lake you will pass more Willow and also Alders as you approach the bridge to the Crannog. The island or Crannog at point 13 was constructed at the same time as the lake. The Archaeological richness of the area suggested the construction of an ancient dwelling on the island which was completed early in 1996. Along The Tuairin na mBlat Walking Trail shrubsOn leaving the island and continuing on the lake perimeter walk, passing plantings of native shrubs and trees you will arrive at point 14 where water drains to the final lake in the system. Point 14 gives an excellent view of the Successional Pond which was constructed to illustrate the natural changes in any body of still water over a period of time. Decomposing plant matter will eventually build up in lakes over many years. Surprisingly enough this in time may lead to a climax community of mature Oak woodland. Alternatively in areas of particularly high rainfall a raised bog may result. The disappearance of the lake is much more subtle and gradual than the summary would suggest. The waterway then crosses the Long Meadow Walk via a culvert and follows the same course as the Abann-ban Walk. The entrance to the herb Rich Meadow at point 15 now awaits you. The Long Meadow Walk leads along the eastern edge of the Species Rich Hedgerow at point 16 which was planted in 1993. Here at point 17, the Amenity Grassland, you can choose to return to the Centre via the Gardener's Stroll or along the Main Entrance Walk to the right. This walk is about 1.5 km long and should take approximately 45 minutes to complete

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