Rossacroo - Location of the Millennium Forests
Rossacroo-na-loo Wood is an old oak woodland situated about 10km northeast of Kilgarvan. Please see directions/map below.
The forest site is located within an extensive 'Special Area of Conservation' (SAC) and a 'Natural Heritage Area' (NHA) in this region. Rossacroo derives from "Ross" meaning a 'wood or grove'. The old Irish spelling was more than likely "Ros-a'-chro" meaning "wood of the cro or cattle-hut".
The Down Survey map from about 1656 shows little detail of the parish of Killaha where the wood is located, however considerable portions of the area are defined as 'Timber wood'. An early account of Killaha in the early nineteenth century describes the parish as "richly wooded". The first edition Ordnance Survey map (1841-1846) shows the forest site completely covered with woodland. The evidence suggests woodland has persisted in the area for centuries.
Considerable disturbance has occurred in recent centuries, especially felling, human settlement and the planting of exotic, non-native trees. An interesting feature of this wood is the presence of a disused railway line with a large, wide embankment at the northern end. It was in use between 1891 and 1959.
The most common native tree here is the sessile oak with downy birch and an understorey of holly, rowan, hazel and alder. The forest floor and the boughs of the trees reflect the wet climate in this region, since they are covered in a luxuriant carpet of mosses, lichens and ferns. Wood sorrel and woodrush are very common, with St. John's-wort, sedges and heather also present.
The most common animal present is sika deer whilst red deer, badger, fox, horseshoe bats and wood mouse also reside here. Birds include jay, treecreeper, long-tailed tit, cuckoo, sparrowhawk and barn owl.
In order to restore this wood Coillte will continue to remove non-native trees and shrubs, especially rhododendron. Over-grazing by deer will be controlled by the erection of a deer fence, which will protect the naturally regenerating tree seedlings and help to sustain this woodland into the future.
View Rossacroo 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)