Knockananna Bog

26. Knockananna Bog

Raised bog

Map reference: TO 182 Nearest town: Hacketstown

This is one of the few places in Wicklow that can be described as raised bog.It has developed in a hollow which was once a shallow lake. It contains a record of landscape change over thousands of years.


Within sight of the summit of Lugnaquillia, this bog is situated in the upper valley of the Derreen river, a tributary of the Slaney. Most of the bogs in Wicklow are mountain blanket bogs and it is unusual to find raised bogs away from the midlands in Ireland:The typical domed shape developed as the bog grew from a lake which existed here in the last Ice Age. Stumps of burnt pine in the bog indicate an early clearance of forest on the bog using fire.


Vegetation is ted by ling and bell heather with deer grass in the wetter parts, The yellow spikes of bog asphodel are widespread over the centre of the bog. Rushes, Sphagnum rosses and bog cotton grow in the pools formed in old peat cuttings. Gorse, bilberry and a few birch trees grow around the fringes of the bog, especially on the south side which has been subject to some recent peat cutting.


Typical mammals on the bog include fox and hare, whose tracks through the vegetation are everywhere to be seen. Songbirds are few because of the absence of trees but meadow pipits nest in the bog and cuckoos appear in spring for a few weeks. On warm summer days the vegetation of the bog is full of buzzing insects especially bees and hoverflies which are attracted to the abundance of wild flowers. Butterflies are common including the small heath and migrants such as peacock and red admiral. The large green caterpillars and the brown cocoons of the emperor moth are common on the heather. Around the pools there is a great variety of insect life including diving beetles and dragonflies.

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