Lacka - Location of the Millennium Forests
Lacca Wood - incorporating The Copse and Church Wood - is located on the southern slopes of the Slieve Blooms, some six kilometres northwest of Mountrath .Please see directions/map below.
Translated from the Irish, Lacca has several meanings, including 'a stone or flagstone', 'the side of a hill' and 'a place full of stones or flags'.
Until very recently, the wood comprised mainly of Norway spruce with beech, Scots pine, oak, grey willow and birch, with some rowan and holly in the shrub layer. Honeysuckle, fraochan, wood sorrel, bugle, bluebell, few-flowered woodrush, royal fern, hay-scented buckler fern and foxglove all occur on the forest floor along with numerous mosses and liverworts. The fly agaric or fairy toadstool grows here too, especially under birch along with other woodland fungi.
The Down Survey map of the area which dates to 1656 indicates the presence of old woodland, but its exact location is unknown. Later maps from the nineteenth century show notable woodland coverage in this area. The locality was described then as 'being too rugged and is a quarry for a fine stone similar to that of Portland; there are also limestone quarries and a slate quarry'.
Animals that are probably present include deer, red squirrel, grey squirrel, badger, fox, hare, hedgehog and wood mouse. Birds present include hooded crow, woodpigeon, blackbird, robin, coal tit, goldcrest, treecreeper, chaffinch and bullfinch and possibly chiffchaff, willow warbler, jay and spotted flycatcher.
The restoration of Lacca requires measures to encourage the development of the ground vegetation as well as increasing the amount of native trees and shrubs. In time, herbs, ferns and grasses from existing groves of native vegetation on-site and in the vicinity will eventually spread throughout the newly planted woodland. Alder, ash, birch, cherry and oak will be planted and natural regeneration encouraged. An important feature of the site is the lack of invasive non-native exotics like rhododendron and laurel. The complex of habitats in the locality, which includes bog and scrubby areas, suggest that the range of insects present could well be extensive. The introduction of nesting boxes for birds would increase the local population of hole nesting specialists.
View Lacca Wood 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)