Location of the Millennium Forests
Derrygill Wood is located approximately three kilometres southeast of the village of Woodford. Please see directions/map below.
Along with the nearby woodlands at Derrycrag, Rosturra and Pollnaknockaun - some of which are Nature Reserves - these woodlands comprise some of the last remaining fragments of what was once an extensive area of woodland in this region, known as Woodford Forest.
Derrygill derives from "Derry" or in Irish "doire", an 'oak grove or wood' and "gall", which translates as foreigner. Derrygill therefore means "(oak)wood of the foreigner". Ordnance Survey maps from the 1838-1840 shows Derrygill townland as densely forested. Local folklore accounts state that: "St. Anne's Well at Ahanass in Woodford, county of Galway has a " pattern" associated with it and a tradition of curing illnesses, mainly sore eyes". Cloths are tied to a nearby bush - a rag-tree - which is associated with the Blessed Virgin. It was quite common in times past in many parts of Ireland for trees or bushes to be singled out for reverence as it was thought that they possessed curative powers.
The wood is home to a variety of birds including, long-tailed tits, blackbird, robin and wren. It also hosts red squirrels, foxes, badgers and pine martens. The area has been extensively planted with commercial coniferous forestry and stands of Scots Pine that were planted in the 1940s still remain. Some of these will be retained as part of the native species mix, which is being planted currently. The mature Scots pine trees are generally well spaced, with a luxuriant, diverse understorey and ground cover. There are numerous native trees and shrubs within the wood including oak, alder, ash and hazel. A considerable amount of the mature, non-native trees have been felled and will be replaced with oak, alder, ash and birch. In some clear-felled areas there is good re-colonisation with native broadleaf species such as oak and holly, as well as non-natives such as beech and spruce. These non-natives, along with laurel and sycamore, will have to be controlled to ensure the long-term survival of the native woodland communities.
View Derrygill 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)