Coill an Fhailtaigh- Location of the Millennium Forests
This site occupies the entire townland of Woodlands, which lies about four kilometres southwest of Kilkenny City and is the largest of the Millennium forests. Please see directions/map below.
It is an old broadleaf woodland site, which was subsequently planted with conifers in the late 1940s and early 1950s. As the conifers reached maturity over the last couple of years they were harvested. The present day Ordnance Survey maps refer to this site as "Woodlands", the name of the townland where it is situated. However, in local tradition, this wood was and still is known as "Coill and Fhaltaigh" or "Walls Wood". One of the earliest accounts of this wood dates back to the 1650s. The wood was once part of the Brittas Estate, home of the O'Rourke family. Brittas Castle, now in ruins, lies approximately one kilometres to the southwest.
Restoration of the wood includes the planting of oak, ash, alder and birch with fencing to protect them from gazing animals. Areas of Scots pine have been retained to provide a habitat for the native red squirrel. As it is an old woodland site Coill an Fhaltaigh retains remnants of oak, ash, birch, alder and hazel and a good range of woodland plants such as bluebell, herb robert, wood sorrel and ivy, all of which will be retained. The natural regeneration of oak will be encouraged, as it is likely that this tree has persisted here from pre-Famine times.
The wood is an important one for animals. Fox, stoat, hare, rabbit, wood mouse, brown rat, red squirrel, grey squirrel, hedgehog, pygmy shrew and pipistrelle bat have all been seen in the last 10 years. Hares, which are normally associated with grassland and moors use woodlands for shelter and security.
The bird life of the wood includes large species such as pheasant, woodpigeon, woodcock (winter), sparrowhawk, hooded crow and long-eared owl. Smaller birds present are those typical of woodland habitats, for example, goldcrest, coal tit, treecreeper, chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, spotted flycatcher, chaffinch, redpoll, wren, dunnock, blackbird and robin.
View Coill an Fhaitaigh in a larger map
Please see refreshed and upgraded signage installed on all the Millennium sites during 2011.
(This new signage was funded by AIB)