Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A dry but very windy day in the Mourne Mountains on 13 May.  Around this time last year there were serious fires in the mountains. The picture below was taken on 1 May 2011.

This was the first time we ventured into the worst of the area shown in the picture above and it is encouraging to note that although the heather is well burnt off the grasses, ferns and gorse are beginning to re-establish themselves. Careful scrutiny also showed new heather growth - up to about half a centimetre in height but growth nonetheless.  The damage appears to have to the surface vegetation only and not to the roots or underlying peat.  A couple of years without any more fires should see the natural vegetation well established again.  However, many of the trees in Annalong Wood are beyond recovery.

Annalong Wood

Stand of burnt trees

New growth

Burning the vegetation also revealed a relic from WW2.  Apparently the American Navy used this area of the Mournes for target practice and we came across the remains of an artillery shell - fortunately it had already detonated.

How these pictures  are sharp is beyond me - the wind was so strong it was difficult standing in the more severe gusts!

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