Hedgerow and Cutover Bog
Along the side of the path is an impressive mature hedge which is dominated by Holly. The ancient Brehon Laws which protected trees classed Holly one of the most important trees of the forest. Unlike many plants, which produce male and female flowers, Holly trees are either male or female, with the crimson red berries only growing on the female trees.
Directly south of the path is an area of cutaway bog. Peat or turf was a hugely important fuel in most parts of rural Ireland as for many centuries little wood was available due to the destruction of the woodlands during the 17th century following the Elizabethan conquest.
This piece of cutover bog has been long left to recover. Bogland plants have re-colonised the area. Bog Cotton, with its white fluffy cotton seed heads and grassy leaves are seen from late May each year. Later in the season the Bog Asphodel with its yellow star shaped flowers with six pointed petals are seen growing in the wetter areas of the bog. If you are very careful you will see the murderous ‘Drúchtín Móna’ or Common Sundew, a beautiful little plant that catches tiny flies in its sticking glandular tentacles. The trapped flies are now doomed as the plant slowly digests them to augment its nutrient intake from meagre, wet peaty soils.