A diverse habitat for rare species

Horses on Divis and Black Mountain in Belfast

The mountains comprise a mosaic of grassland heath and bog. These habitats support a varied and distinctive flora and fauna.

A patchwork of habitats

One of the most important components of the blanket bog is sphagnum moss. This amazing plant can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water, and is the building block for peat.
Our property is significant for biodiversity with red grouse, stonechats, skylark, snipe and other upland breeding birds, while peregrine falcons and ravens feed in the area. There are several occupied badger setts and on a walk through this habitat you may encounter a hiding Irish hare. A number of species found here in the mountains are identified as Northern Ireland Priority Species.

Look a little closer

The heath is made up mainly of heather species but a closer look reveals some interesting flora such as the heath spotted orchid. Along the short grasses on the river banks you may unearth the many colours of waxcaps during the autumn and winter months. Thirteen species of waxcap fungi have already been identified on the site; one of them is a new record for Northern Ireland.