Ancient Oak Forest in Glengariff?

Old Jul 27th, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Ancient Oak Forest in Glengariff?

Somewhere I read something about some wonderful trails or walks through ancient Oak forests in Glengariff ~ anyone done this?
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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Yonks ago. Nice, but just another walk through typical British Isles woodland, as far as I can remember.

Beware the ill-informed hype. "Ancient oak forest" DOESN'T mean the oaks are that old. Oaks don't grow to a great age: 500-600 years at most in these islands. "Ancient forest" merely means the woodland has never, in recorded history, been replanted by humans - something that's common as muck in the US but rare indeed over here, where practically every feature of the landscape has been put there by humans at some point in the past 2,000 years.

The Glengarrif forest has just been left alone, with trees dying naturally and self-regenerating. Disbelieve also the downright absurd fantasy that some Irish have invented that all the other oaks were stolen by the English for the Navy. They weren't: Ireland did go through a phase of chopping down some trees in the 18th and 19th century - to provide extra arable land to feed the population that boomed once the English imported potatoes.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 01:56 AM
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500-600 years is fairly old for most Oaks, they don't live as long as Redwoods, Sequoias, Bristlecone Pines etc.

We saw the "remains" of several old Oaks in England, was wondering if these Oaks are very big and impressive, or if the walks are just nice woodland walks.

We're hoping to see some of the Charleville Oaks at Tullamore, and the demesne at Birr Castle, in addition to visiting Tullynally Castle and several arbortums to see trees, so maybe the "ancient" forest might not look so "ancient" to us?
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Either way, there is a lovely forest park outside of Glengarriff. Take the tiny road to Barley Lake (not Lough) that site above. You can reach one side of that road from the N71, just south of the rock tunnel.

Bill
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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thanks wojazz3, I saw a photo of the Barley Lake area it looked gorgeous!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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My husband I were there four years ago (and going back in '09) - it was a highlight of the whole trip!
The woods are known as both "Pooleen Forest" and "Glengariff Woods". They are now protected, but make up the remains of an old estate. The paths were very well-marked, there's a lovely stream that burbles along over a stony bed - and the oaks are indeed quite old and magnificent.
My husband went back one day without me and got an all-day walking tour by a fellow who is the 'steward' of the woods (kind of a ranger) - he can't wait to go back!
It's really not hard to find, and there's a small car-park right on site. Well worth at least one stroll.
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Old Aug 12th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Thank you McDBrennan, it's great to hear about it from someone who has been there! We will check it out.

Did you go to Birr or Charleville or anyplace else with magnificent old trees?
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