Escape to Ballycroy National Park, which was established in November 1998 and is Ireland’s sixth National Park. It comprises of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt landscape dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range.
Inside the visitor centre, you’ll discover an exhibition space that explores the history, heritage and stories of the local area, as well as aspects of the surrounding environment and wildlife.
Experience the wonder of exploring nature’s larder – enjoy a wild foraging workshop with Gaol Siar on the shores of Erris.Barbara Heneghan of Gaol Siar offers guided tours and heritage & cultural events in both English and Irish – bringing together the land, the sea and the spirit of Erris. Barbara can guide you around many of the historic places of Erris, including Blacksod, Inver, Ceathrú Thaidhg and Erris Head. Gaol Siar also provides a genealogy service and has connected dozens of people to their relations here, and to their ancestors’ place.
The Erris region has a number of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Areas of Protection, with countless important habitats, species, flora and fauna. You will find a variety of rare and interesting plants here, including the ivy-leaved bellflower, the marsh saxifrage, spaghnum mosses, black bog rush, purple-moor grass, bog cotton, deer-grass, cross-leaved heath, bell heather, white-beaked sedge, bog asphodel, bog myrtle, orchids, lousewort, milkwort, lichens, sundew, butterwort, water lobelia, pipewort, common spike-rush, and bulbous rush. Greenland White-fronted Geese, Golden Plover, Red Grouse and Otters are just some of the important fauna found in the region of Ballycroy National Park.
The elusive corncrake can be heard every summer in many parts of the Mullet Peninsula, even close to the town of Belmullet. The Inis Gé islands are home to many endangered species, seabirds and grey seals. These are just some of the examples of the amazing flora and fauna that can be seen in Erris. Erris is indeed the best place in Ireland to go wild!
The discovery of what is now known as Céide Fields really began back in the 1930s when a local schoolteacher, Patrick Caulfield from Belderrig, often noticed piles of stones in the bottom of the blanket bog when cutting his turf. To everybody else, these were meaningless but he realised two very important points - firstly, the way the stones were piled up couldn't be natural so somebody had to put them there, and secondly, because they were down underneath the peat they had to be put there prior to the growth of the bog and so must be very ancient.
The visitor centre at the Céide Fields not only presents the archaeology of the site but also the botany, bogs and geology of the area. It is located beside spectacular 370ft high cliffs.