Glengarra - Location of the Millennium Forests
Glengarra, in Irish 'An Ghleanna Ghairbh', which may mean the rough glen or Garra's glen (a local 2nd century chieftain of the Morna tribe), forms part of the Galtee Mountains some 12km west of Cahir. Please see directions/map below.
In places the glen is steeply sloping, especially along the channel of the Burncourt river - which divides the woodland - where oak trees cling to the side slopes along with greater woodrush.
The earliest maps show that the area was dominated by forest. During the nineteenth century Viscount Lismore, who presided over the area at that time, erected a lodge - known as Mountain Lodge and currently used by An Óige as a youth hostel - in a situation of beauty in Glengarra and surrounded it with a plantation of about 150 acres, containing many unusual, exotic trees.
There are a considerable variety of native trees, especially oak, which is common on the slopes. Alder and silver birch are especially at home in the vicinity of the river and wet, boggy areas. At the base of the slopes old ash trees dominate with hazel, holly, rowan, wych elm and grey willow, whilst on the forest floor plants include yellow pimpernel, bilberry (or fraochan) and lady fern. Scots pine is a notable feature, growing up to 30 meters in places. Animals that reside here include bats, deer, pygmy shrew, red squirrel and possibly pine marten.
The site contains many exotics including sycamore, laurel and a variety of conifers. Some - for example a sequoiadendron over 140 feet tall - are notable specimens that do not pose a threat to the native vegetation. However, rhododendron invasion is a serious problem and measures have been taken to eradicate it from the site. In addition, a variety of native trees will be planted, including alder, ash, birch and oak.
There is a wealth of local history and folklore associated with Glengarra. A holy well is situated in the nearby Shanbally Demesne. On its wall is a plain stone cross, which was erected by the late Lord Lismore to mark the site of a fallen ash tree that was used by pilgrims as the place on which to place "offerings of ribbons". A nearby forked yew is now used instead.
View Glengarra 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)