Physical Features

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  • Aspects of Carlow

Blackstairs Mountains

Among the most striking physical features of Co. Carlow are the Blackstairs Mountains, situated on the border with Co. Wexford. The well-known peak of Mount Leinster rises here to a height of 735 metres.

The Blackstairs are habitat to many heathers and grasses. The wild goats that roam the mountains feed on this vegetation.

The River Barrow

The River Barrow flows through Carlow town, Bagenalstown (Muinebheag) and onwards through Graiguenamanagh in Co. Kilkenny. It joins the River Nore above New Ross before entering the sea at Waterford Harbour. The Barrow is 192 kilometres long, making it the second-longest river in Ireland. Other rivers in Carlow are the Burrin, which joins the Barrow in Carlow town, and the Slaney, on which the town of Tullow is built.

There are now Irish and European laws to protect some of the habitats and the plants found in wet sites, such as bogs. The Blackstairs Mountains and the River Barrow in Carlow are two such areas. These are called Special Areas of Conservation. This means that it is against the law to damage the plants or habitats that are found in these two locations.