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Wildlife and trees and plants at Carnmoney Hill

Mammals include fox, badger and Irish hare. Bird species include the long-eared owl, sparrowhawk, buzzard, blue tit, chaffinch, bullfinch, robin, meadow pipit and sparrow.

The ponds provide a habitat for a variety of wildfowl, including water rail, kingfisher, heron, and tufted and mallard ducks, as well as the common frog.

The site is also home to many insects, including ladybird, dung beetle, a variety of butterflies and moths, red damselflies, four-spotted chaser dragonfly and brown hawker dragonfly.

Trees and plants

Tree species include ash, hazel, larch, large leaved lime, birch, rowan, alder, willow, oak, Scots pine, damson and beech. The Trust has planted 60,000 native trees – oak, ash and hazel – to reconnect the fragments of ancient woodland on the site, making Carnmoney Hill one of the largest native woodland creation projects in Northern Ireland.

Part of Rathfern Wood is old estate land and has a patchwork of thorn scrub, copse and hedges that are now regenerating with shrubs and trees. It is a Woods on your Doorstep community woodland and has continued support from the Rathfern CDA and local residents.

The site’s ground flora includes bluebell, primrose, dog violet, early purple orchid, wood anemone, wood sanicle, stitchwort, wood sorrel, wood aven, wild garlic, fern, corn camomile, cornflower, yellow rattle, red campion, corn cockle, ox-eye daisy and poppy. Wetland plants include yellow flag iris, ragged robin and common spotted orchid. There is also a wide range of mosses, lichens and fungi.