Blanket bog and wet heath on Divis
The Heath Trail extends over some of the best and least disturbed blanket bog and wet heath on Divis and the Black Mountain. Sadly increased footfall is causing habitat erosion and disturbance to the wildlife and flora that live here so the trail is now closed to walkers.
The mosaic of grassland, heath and bog on the upper slopes of Divis and the Black Mountain is home to a rich and diverse collection of wildlife. Upland breeding birds such as red grouse, stonechat, skylark and snipe criss-cross the sky. Irish hare, frogs and newts live here. Butterflies such as the small heath can also be seen flitting across the site. You might even be lucky enough to spot a peregrine falcon in the sky above.
The upland bog was once a great place for extracting turf which today remains to a depth of four metres in places and the thin peat and acid soils support plants such as sphagnum, bog cotton and bog asphodel which specialise in surviving in these difficult habitats.
Unfortuntely this delicate natural balance is being disrupted as more visitors explore the mountain, damaging the habitat and disturbing the wildlife and flora that live here.
With no designated path, the trail’s remote, wet and boggy nature also means it can be very difficult to navigate for even the most experienced of walkers, posing a health and safety risk.
To protect the wildlife that live here, and for the safety of our visitors, we have taken the decision to close the Heath Trail to walkers.