Tourmakeady - Location of the Millennium Forests
This site is located on the western shore of Lough Mask, Co. Mayo in the village of Tourmakeady, approximately 25km southwest of Westport. Please see directions/map below.
Tourmakeady in Irish 'Tuar Mhic Eadaigh' means 'Mac Eadaigh's bleach-green' and does not refer to trees or forests. However, Mayo (in Irish "Magh eó") means "the plain of the yews". It is known that most of the current forest site was densely wooded in the early 19th century. Apparently, the forest at Tourmakeady was planted with oak, larch and Scots pine by Bishop Plunkett after the tenants had been evicted from his estate at that time. A feature of this site is a lake created by Bishop Plunkett for the purposes of fishing; it was stocked with brown trout.
An interesting fact about Tourmakeady is that Éamonn de Valera met his future wife while teaching at the school in Tourmakeady. It is said that they courted at the beautiful waterfall within the confines of Tourmakeady forest site. This waterfall also played a significant role in the local legends of the last two centuries.
Native trees that occur here include oak, birch, rowan, alder, hazel, willow, holly and ash. There is also a considerable amount of conifers - currently being harvested - beech, rhododendron and laurel. Native trees will be planted in the clearfell areas, including alder, ash, birch, oak and Scots pine. They will have to be fenced to keep the local herd of sika deer and any stray sheep from eating them. The rhododendron and laurel will be eradicated as they are invasive non-native plants and smother the natural woodland vegetation completely. Beech regeneration will also have to be controlled, as it will replace the native tree species in time.
Typical animal and bird species such as badger, fox, woodmouse, sparrowhawk, great tit and woodcock will all benefit from the current management programme. The recreational potential of Tourmakeady Wood, which is already quite considerable, will also be enhanced.
View Tourmakeady 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)