Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mourne Mountains

Executive summary by darmansjah

Mourne Mountains also called the Mournes or Mountains of Mourne, (Irish – na Beanna Bóirche) are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. It includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 850 metres (2,790 ft). The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty and has been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. The name Mourne (historically spelt Morne) is derived from the name of a Gaelic clann or sept called the Múghdhorna.

 Mournes are visited by many tourists, hillwalkers, cyclists and rock climbers. Following a fundraising drive in 1993, the National Trust purchased nearly 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) of land in the Mournes. The Mourne Wall, looking towards Hare's Gap

The Mourne Wall is among the more famous features in the Mournes. This followed a number of Acts of Parliament allowing the sale, and the establishment of a water supply from the Mournes to the growing industrial city of Belfast. Some of the mountains have names beginning Slieve, from the Irish word sliabh, meaning mountain. Examples are Slieve Donard, Slieve Lamagan and Slieve Muck. There are also a number of curious names: Pigeon Rock; Buzzard's Roost; Brandy Pad; the Cock and Hen; Percy Bysshe; the Devil's Coach Road; and Pollaphuca, which means "hole of the fairies or sprites".

Aside from grasses, the most common plants found in the Mournes are heathers. Other plants which grow in the area are: Bog Cotton, Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea), Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), Marsh St John's Wort, Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), Wood sorrel and Heath Spotted Orchids.

It has been proposed that the Mourne Mountains be made Northern Ireland's first national park.  Mournes are a very popular area for hiking, the Wall providing a convenient navigation aid.

The Northern Ireland Railways service and the Enterprise link into Newry railway station.

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