Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park
Wild Nephin/Ballycroy National Park is one of Ireland’s six National Parks. The Park is 15,000 hectares in size and contains the largest expanse of active Atlantic blanket bog in Ireland and Western Europe. Situated in northwest Mayo, the Park is comprised of mountains, blanket bog, rivers, heathlands and forestry. The habitats of the park are important breeding grounds for several protected species including Peregrine falcon, merlin, golden plover and the red grouse. It is also one of the few remaining sites for the marsh saxifrage in Ireland.
The Visitor Centre for the National Park is located in the village of Ballycroy along the N59 road between Mulranny and Bangor Erris, and provides the visitor with panoramic views over the Nephin Beg Mountain Range, Achill Island and Blacksod Bay. There is a free interactive exhibition explaining the cultural and natural heritage of the bog. Tóchar Dáithí Bán, a multi-access 2km trail provides visitors an opportunity to take a closer look at the bog and take in some of the spectacular views or the surrounding landscape and main body of the Park. Visitors need not be put off by a rainy day as there is also a lovely tearoom at the centre providing scrumptious lunches and delightful cakes, all homemade and sure to whet the appetite.
Wild Nephin National Park is also designated as the Mayo International Dark Sky Park and was awarded gold-tier status resulting from the lack of light pollution. This provides visitors with an unrivalled view of the night sky with opportunities for pristine stargazing on a clear night.
Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park Education Centre aims to raise awareness of the natural world and our Dark Skies. Programmes are free of charge to schools and youth groups eg. scouts & guides. Staff at Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park Education Centre are happy to provide any assistance with information on aspects of nature conservation, the environment and Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park.
Aims of National Parks & Wildlife Service’s Education Programme:
- To promote respect, understanding and care for heritage and particularly for the natural world.
- To encourage the development of environmentally friendly practices.
- To inform the public about the National Parks and Wildlife service and their role in conservation.
Ballycroy National Park Education Centre must be booked in advance. If you would like to book please contact the Centre on 098 49888.
For more information visit : www.ballycroynationalpark.ie