GPS:(51.83941,-9.31478) Map of walking Trails
The Forest Park - After the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Land Commission exchanged the land of farmers in the valley for more productive land in East Cork. The park is located in the townland of Coomroe or Com Rua which means a red Coum or hollow. It is easy to see where the name comes from for on entering the valley one is overawed by the sheer walls of Old Red Sandstone rock which rise some 370 meters from the valley bottom. Subsequently around 142 hectares of land passed to the Forest Service, and were partly planted in 1938-40. Non-native coniferous species were used as was, and still is, the general practice in Ireland. Around 1966 the area was designated a Forest Park and a 3 Km 'Motor Trail' constructed around the valley bottom. Public walking trails were also developed with steps and benches. Now, 55 years after the initial planting, wild trees are beginning to re-establish and add to the interest and beauty. There is an automatic pay barrier for cars. €5 in coin, no cards or notes. An annual access card is available from coillteoutdoors.ie for €45.
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Fauna & Flora -Amongst the common mammals in the park are otter, stoat, badger, brown rat, fox and rabbit. Less common are red deer, field mouse, and pigmy shrew. Birds include, raven, coal tit, wren, robin, wood pigeon, blackbird, chiff-chaff, willow warbler, pied and grey wagtail, rock dove, cuckoo, thrush, starlings and often Peregine Falcons. Around the lake you may see reed buntings, cormorants and herons, moorhens and mute swans. The most noticeable feature of the vegetation is the abundance of mosses, together with many acid-lovers, such as heathers and ling. The relatively uncommon St.Patrick's Cabbage may be seen here together with butterworts and sundews.