Thanks to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for their swift response to a gorse fire at Bloody Bridge last week. The Mournes Rangers help protect this iconic landscape by maintaining fire breaks which proved essential in extinguishing these flames. Ravaging the iconic landscape in National Wildlife Week, a gorse fire like this threatens our local wildfire including the common lizard, a priority species in Northern Ireland, which has likely declined due to such ongoing habitat loss. With the Easter and summer holidays ahead, we urge visitors to follow the Countryside Code. While you're welcome to picnic, protect our wildlife, landscapes and emergency services by not lighting BBQs. If you see a fire in the countryside, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service.
National Trust in the Mournes
The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic mountain range in Northern Ireland. Beloved by hikers, the Mournes have long inspired writers and storytellers. A landmark of international importance, all 12 peaks of the Mourne Mountains have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Find out about the events and activities which have shaped our work as caretakers of Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh.
07 Apr 22
Bloody Bridge Wildfire
31 Mar 22
The Rangers are supplied with new Wildfire Equipment
Thanks for the support from DAERA, we have been able to purchase two key pieces of equipment which will support our wildfire work in The Mournes. These impressive pieces of machinery are known as the Robo-cut and Argocat and will be instrumental in dealing with future wildfires. Robocut: This innovative technology is designed to allow cutting of vegetation on very steep ground, with the added advantage of the operator being able to stand a safe distance from the machine controlling it with a remote. It will be used by the wildfire recovery team to cut fire breaks. This will break the vegetation continuity, reducing fuel levels and slowing of spread of wildfire. These breaks can also be used as tactical firefighting points if needed. Argocat: Designed in Canada, these tracked all terrains vehicles are some of the hardiest on the market. The low centre of gravity allows the Argocat to travel on steep ground and its tracks make for stronger grip in wet conditions. A trailer can be attached with a fogging unit (high pressure hose). The entire unit can be handed over to the fire service to carry out their important highly skilled work, and once they have the fire under control, the National Trust rangers can use the unit to extinguish smoking ground and stop edges from spreading. The Argocat will also allow the team to transport materials needed for work on the recovery project to remote parts of the mountains, making it possible to build grazing enclosures and monitor habitat recover in different ways.
18 Mar 22
The Mournes Heli-lift
The Mournes Pathway Team have been busy working with helicopter company Skyhook to lift 140 tonne bags of stone up Slieve Donard. The team along with contractors have spent the past few weeks bagging stone at two of the quarries within the Mournes. The stone will be used to help the Mountain Rangers build and maintain the main path which provides so many hikers with sustainable access to the summit of Northern Ireland's highest mountain. The Trust’s project to restore nearly 3.4km of path on Slieve Donard continues with the help of grant funding from DAERA’s Environment Fund. Their support and the continued support of our members makes this important conservation work possible.