Liffey Head Bog & Knockananna Bog

9.Liffey Head Bog (Blanket bog) Map ref: 01313 Nearest town : Enniskerry

Despite the apparently endless miles of high-level bog in Wicklow, this particular patch has a special magical quality. Not only is it the source of three of Wicklow's main rivers, but it is of international significance because of its very wet bog surface.

Landscape : This is rolling wet moorland between 500 and 550 metres (1500 to 1800 feet) above sea –level in the saddle between Tonduff and Kippure mountains. The television mast on the summit of Kippure dominates the skyline to the north-west while the upper reaches of the River Liffey cut deep into the peatland flowing westwards towards Blessington lakes. The source of the Dargle is here too, flowing eastwards out of the bog between Tonduff and War Hill. There are extensive peat workings especially near the road from Glencree to Sally Gap. Most of the peat cuttings are rented by people from Dublin who come to cut turf in the traditional way every summer. To the west of the road on the lower slopes of Kippure, an extensive area has benn developed for commercial peat production.

Habitats : This almost entirely high-altitude blanket bog with no trees or shrubs. In many places the drainage is below the surface of the bog, forming natural tunnels in the peat. There are numerous deep pools on the surface of the bog where it is still intact. The wetter parts contain luxuriant growth of bog cotton , bog mosses and the club moss, which is not a moss at all. The flowers of bog asphodel and bog rosemary add a splash of colour to the bog vegetation. Drier moorland on the higher slopes is ted by ling heather with bilberry and crowberry in places. Purple moor grass is common in the wetter peat among the heather.

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