Rosturra - Location of the Millennium Forests
Rosturra Wood is situated approximately three kilometres east of the village of Woodford and is a proposed Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Natural Heritage Area (NHA).The forest is divided between two townlands, Rosturra and Derrylahan. Please see directions/map below.
Rosturra derives from an old Irish word "Ros" meaning "wood", while Derrylahan derives from "doire" or "dair", the Irish for "an oak grove or wood".
Once part of a large forest area in the region known as Woodford Forest, Rosturra is almost unique in that it contains yew in a mixture with oak, with some ash and birch. Other notable shrubs occasionally found include holly, hazel, willow, hawthorn, spindle-tree, buckthorn, blackthorn and guelder rose. It also contains a wide variety of plants on the forest floor, representing a community that reflects the considerable variation in the underlying soils that range from very fertile to very infertile. The rare woodland orchid the long-leaved helleborine is joined by bilberry, bramble, woodrush, primrose, dog violet and wood anenome.
The wood hosts numerous birds and animals, including amongst others, coal tit, mistle thrush, treecreeper, pine marten and fallow deer. It also has a notable community of butterflies, including brimstone, silver-washed fritillary and ringlet.
There is an archaeological monument within the woodland, which consists of a large circular enclosure - probably a rath or ringfort - roughly 45 metres in diameter. There is also a well nearby, known as "Toberphuca" (which may mean "Well of Ghosts"). There are two man-made steps leading down onto the well, indicating that it may have been visited in the past, although there are no indications that this is a holy well.
Mature conifers have been felled in recent years and these will be replaced with sessile oak, alder, ash, birch and Scots pine. One of the aims of the People's Millennium Forest Project at this site is to maintain, extend and improve the quality of the wood, principally by controlling grazing, especially by fallow deer. The other principal aim is to plant areas of clearfell with native species of local provenance. About 850kgs of acorns were collected locally this autumn by local groups - including St. Joseph's primary school in Woodford - for this purpose.
View Rosturra 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)