Duntally Wood Nature Reserve
Duntally Wood is a National Nature Reserve as well as a candidate for Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive.
Extending to over 15 hectares, it is a fantastic example of an oak, ash, hazel woodland. Other notable tree species include holly, elm and downy birch.
Ground Flora is varied throughout the woodland and changes with soil and habitat type, common species include wood anemone, early purple orchid, hard fern, wild garlic, meadowsweet, bugle and bluebell.
A 2.5km loop trail takes you from the car park along old cart-ways and down the valley bottom. Potatoes and cereals were once grown in these meadows. Some have been cleared of tree cover to increase diversity within the woodland. Duntally Wood is a good place to explore some of our native mammal species. Deer visit the woodland occasionally during the winter months, while evidence of fox and badger can be found by their tracks and trails. Stoats and otters also frequent the woodland.
Coppicing of the older stands of hazel trees is done by cutting the old tree down to almost ground level, far from the death of the tree this pruning actually increases the vigor of the tree while also changing light levels reaching the woodland floor. A quick growing species, hazel soon sends out new multi- stemmed growth. Historically these hazel wands were cut and used around local homes and farms as light timber for fencing and tool handles.
Birdlife in the wood is very diverse from the colourful Jays to the agile Tree-creepers. Raven, Buzzard and Sparrow-hawk all breed within or close to the woodland, while Wood Pidgeon and Blue and Long Tailed Tits are regularly encountered on a walk.
Contact: Dave Mc Namara Conservation Ranger 087 6468412
National Parks & Wildlife Services