Celebrating 50 years of Murlough in our care

Celebrating 50 years of Murlough being in our care

Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Ireland’s first ever Nature Reserve is celebrating 50 years under our care this year and we'd love you to join in the celebrations.

Often described as one of Northern Irelands best loved secrets, Murlough is an area of huge scientific importance, being rich in flora, fauna and wildlife. Visitors to this special place will also know that it boasts one of Northern Ireland’s finest beaches and offers breath-taking views of the Mourne Mountains.

Birthday celebrations

To celebrate this 50th anniversary we are running a series of events throughout the year and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.We'd also love visitors to share any photos captured on the reserve using #Murloughis50 on social media, tagging Murlough National Nature Reserve - National Trust on Facebook, and @NtMurlough on Instagram and Twitter.

Official celebrations start on Sunday 19 March with a very special walk around the reserve led by the original warden, naturalist and current National Trust volunteer Jo Whatmough. Using her knowledge and expertise, Jo will give a fascinating insight into Murlough over the last 6,000 years.

Beach art at Murlough
Beach art at Murlough National Nature Reserve
Beach art at Murlough

Other calendar highlights will include Rubbish Art in July, a unique project to create art from rubbish found on the beach; Big Beach Art in August and a very special birthday party in September.

Our work at Murlough

A small team of National Trust staff and volunteers help care for the reserve, managing and maintaining it for generations to come, none of which would be possible without visitor support.

'Without National Trust intervention this incredibly valuable and fragile place would have probably turned into a commercial forest covered by Corsican Pine,' explains Patrick Lynch, Lead Ranger, Murlough Nature Reserve.

'50 years is a fantastic achievement for us but we couldn’t have done it without the support off our members, the community and our visitors. That’s why we want everyone to celebrate this important milestone with us by getting involved in the anniversary activities.'

'We’d also love visitors to share their pictures of Murlough with us on social media, helping us to showcase this magnificent place to the world.'

A very special place

Murlough National Nature Reserve is of international importance for its flora, fauna and archaeology and contains nearly 16% of the UK’s Dune Heath. Over 720 species of butterfly and moths can be found here including the rare marsh fritillary butterfly. A mixture of cattle, ponies and rabbits can be found grazing the land on a normal days walk around the dunes.

Cinnabar moth at Murlough NNR
Cinnabar moth at Murlough National Nature Reserve
Cinnabar moth at Murlough NNR

If you would like to be part of the team who help conserve Murlough by offering financial support or through volunteering please e-mail murlough@nationaltrust.org.uk