Marlfield property, although small in size at just over 18 hectares is interesting on a number of levels. It lies within the Lower River Suir Special Area of Conservation (SAC) 002137 on a relatively steep gradient down to the banks of the river. Among other species, this candidate SAC is designated for salmon and lamprey species, as well as otter and crayfish, which occur in this part of the river. The river also contains a good population of Brown Trout. Historically, the property would once have formed part of the Bagwell estate. On old Ordnance maps the wood is referred to as Glenbawn Fox Covert, with an adjoining townland, (private lands) appearing as Deerpark. There are features of the estate within the wood including the estate walls, the carriage paths that run through the property, stone steps and buttress walls and the Wren’s Well. Going further back, there is a ring fort barely visible on the north eastern end of the property. From a biodiversity perspective, the wood is predominately broadleaved which has been planted with conifers and some other non-native species. Otter spraint is occasionally spotted. Daubenton’s Bat is likely due to its location near the watercourse. A variety of birds, including Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Heron, are common here also.
Well worth a visit!
Things to do
Walk: There are two waymarked trails in Marlfield property. The Glenbawn Loop (2.5kms, 1 hour, moderate) gives the walker a great overview of the forest including the riverside. The Fox Covert Loop (3kms, 1hr 20mins, moderate) takes in the ringfort of Dún Uí Faolain on the eastern end of the forest in addition to the wider forest.
Explore nature: Being part of a former Demesne, there are a lot of exotic plants in these woods.
Don’t miss our hidden gem
This wood is located between the grand estate houses of Marlfield and Knocklofty. Some of the old woodland tracks still intact today must once have carried carriages between the two.