Powerscourt Waterfall & Deerpark

7. Powerscourt Waterfall and Deerpark (River, Woodland)

Map ref : 01912 Nearest town : Enniskerry

Climb among the old oaks up the steep slope beside the waterfall and soak up the view. Below you is the Deerpark with the Dargle snaking away into the woods in the valley. Then the shining cone of the Great Sugarloaf rises out of the forest to capture your attention while away in the backround the blue of the Irish Sea is visible.

Landscape: The Deerpark is a deeply incised glacial valley now occupied by the River Dargle with a spectacular waterfall nearly 100 metres (300 feet) high at the western end. The steep cliff over which the waterfall plunges is formed at the contact between two rock types, granite and mica schist. At the base of the waterfall is a small corrie (glacial depression) and associted mounds of sand and gravel (moraines). The river meanders across the valley floor forming small cliffs where it cuts through the moraines. The deerpark is part of the Powerscourt estate and formerly held a herd of enclosed deer. It has been a popular amenity area for centuries.

Habitats : The rocky area within the spray zone of the waterfall contains many interesting mosses and liverworts with ferns such as the filmy fern and hart's tongue. Grassland is predominant on the gentler slopeswith woodrush and bracken invading some areas. Broadleaved woodland occurs around the upper slopes on both sides of the waterfall. This is mainly oak woodland with some rowan and holly, although there are substantial plantations of beech and conifer on the northern slopes. On the valley floor there are scattered oak and Scots pine trees and extensive areas have recently been planted with hardwoods.

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