Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park is situated at the crossroads village of Letterfrack on N59 Clifden to Westport road. The park is located north of Clifden (15km). Connemara National Park is protected landscape under the EU habitat directed which comes under a Special Area of Conservation. Connemara National Park is one of six national parks all over Ireland. Connemara National Park is managed by National Parks and Wildlife services under remit of Dept Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. Connemara National Park opened in the Early 1980s. There are many environmental and heritage areas at the park.
Flora And Fauna
The National park covers 2957 hectares of protected lands. The flora and fauna consists of protected blanket bog and heartland. The bogs are of wet low lying environments also on the side of the mountains there are dry bogs on the south side. Some of the protected flora consists of purple moore grass plant. Other protected plants include sunder and butternuts. Other common plants also include bog cotton, lousewort, bog cotton, milkwort, bog ashphodel, orchids and bog myrtle which are all protected under EU habitats. The most common wildlife includes Meadow pipits, Skylarks, European stone chats, common chaffinches, red robin and eastern wrens. Native birds at Connemara National Park include Kestrel and Eurasian sparrowhawk. The woodcock, commonsnipe, song thrush, mistle thrush and mountain goat migrate to Connemara during the winter.
Some mammals are common but can be difficult to find. Fieldmice are abundant at the park. Rabbits, foxes, stoats, shrews and bats are usually found in the bog areas of the park. Around 150 years ago red dear used to roam along the park but not anymore but the park is in the process of reintroducing the red ear. Wild mountain goat is a common sight especially in the woodland areas of the park. The most common mammal at Connemara National Park is the Connemara pony.
Among the great walks at Connemara National Park is Diamond Hill Mountain which is 400metres high. Diamond hill walk takes 45mins in duration. At the top of the summit of Diamond hill there are spectacular views of Ballinakil bay, Kylemore , Killary harbour, Achill, Clew bay, Maumturk mountains, Twelve bens and Ina Valley. Other walks at the Connemara national park include forest and bogland walks at lower levels, you can view the Connemara ponys along these walks.
Connemara National Park is open each year from March to October. Access to the park is free of charge and ample parking is provided. There is an audio visual on site and an exhibition centre explaining the parks features. Tearooms and a cafe are provided on site along with toilet facilities. Playground facilities are provided for young children on site.