Cullentra - Location of the Millennium Forests
Cullentra is located approximately 10km southeast of Sligo town on the southern shores of Lough Gill, Co. Sligo. Please see directions/map below
This site is located within a larger area of woodland known as Slish Wood and is an EU designated 'Special Area of Conservation' (SAC) and a 'Natural Heritage Area' (NHA). The name Cullentra derives from "Cullentragh" or "Cullenagh" meaning 'a place producing holly'. During the last century the area was described thus: "The district was formerly a natural forest as is still the portion of it called Slish Wood, with its hardy oaks, all of mature planting rising from the waters edge and clothing the precipitous mountain side…." Most of the parish was covered 300 years ago as the Down Survey of 1633 shows considerable tracts of woodland in the area at that time.
The wood is located on a promontory overlooking the Lake Isle of Inishfree, which W.B. Yeats wrote so eloquently about:
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
This diminutive islet, which contains only half an acre, is also mentioned in historical records. The Four Masters states that in 1124A.D., Conor MacTiernan murdered a brother chief, named Fergal Maccadane, on Inishfraeich, now anglicised Inishfree. At that time it was probably an island fortress.
Cullentra Wood comprises a long established woodland mainly of oak, but also containing ash, hazel, holly, mountain ash, cherry, birch and alder. The rare strawberry tree is also found in the locality, its most northern station in Europe and one of only three locations where it is found growing naturally in Ireland.
There are three parts to this site being managed under this project. Two sites were formerly planted with spruce and pine and they have now been harvested. The current plan is to replant with native species and allow natural regeneration particularly of birch, which can produce large amounts of seed from a young age. Acorns were collected locally for the planting of oak, which will take place in 2001, along with alder, birch ash and Scots pine.
The wood abounds with wildlife, including badgers, foxes, shrews, butterflies and an array of birds. By extending and creating new native woodland areas opportunities to enhance the wildlife of the area will be provided.
View Cullentra in a larger map
Please see refreshed and upgraded signage installed on all the Millennium sites during 2011.
(This new signage was funded by AIB)