Glengarriff Nature Reserve
The name Glengarriff is derived from the Irish Gleann Gairbh which translates as the rough or rugged glen. The setting of Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve is spectacular, with the woods nestled in the sheltered glen opening out into Glengarriff Harbour. Above the woods rise the Caha Mountains, with their dramatic layers of sheer rock.
Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve covers some 300ha, with the dominant habitats being old oak woodland and young woodland which is regenerating in areas which have been cleared of non-native conifers over the last few years. The woods form one of the best examples of oceanic sessile oak woodland in Ireland, being rated at least as important as the Killarney oakwoods. The Nature Reserve is part of the much larger Glengarriff Harbour & Woodlands Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
At one time the woods were part of Lord Bantry’s estate, but they were handed over to the State in 1955 for forestry purposes. However in 1991, the woods were designated as a Nature Reserve and the woodland is now owned and managed by NPWS primarily for conservation and amenity purposes.