National Park Trails

In line with the Government’s COVID19 restrictions,  the grounds of the National Park remain open to visitors in Co. Mayo or within 20km, which ever distance is greater. The Ballycroy Visitor Centre still remains CLOSED including the cafe and toilets. All car parks have re-opened today, June 8th. We would like to inform visitors that there is a one way system for walking the trails, which must be followed for physical distancing purposes. See maps below. You are very welcome...

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The Tree of Many Names!

As we come to the end of May we would like to share with you some folklore that surrounds a tree with strong connections with this month. The Hawthorn is also know as the May Tree or May Bush, and as a child I recall being told not to go near a certain tree grew near my house. At the time I didn't question the instruction, but now I know why... Click here to download a pdf of this poster.

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International Day for Biological Diversity

Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2020!   All week we have featured species from the National Park for #BiodiversityWeek on our social media pages (Facebook & Twitter). Today we are featuring some of the habitats from around the Visitor Centre in Ballycroy.   The grounds of the Visitor Centre are managed for biodiversity and the habitats that feature today are common, but are becoming increasingly under threat, along with the species that rely on them.   Please take a...

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Hedgehog Awareness Week 2020

Did you know that it's Hedgehog Awareness Week? A few weeks ago we were celebrating hedgehogs here in Mayo with the release of hedgehogs in Enniscoe Walled Garden at the North Mayo Heritage Centre. In April 2020, two young hedgehogs were released in Enniscoe’s walled garden. These hedgehogs were siblings, rescued from a garden during winter time and rehabilitated by Noeline Haylett – a wildlife rehabilitator based in Westport. When found, the duo were underweight, cold and wet. They received...

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Introduction to Irish Bats

The final feature event of International Dark Sky Week 2020 (Virtually!), will be "An Introduction to Irish Bats". It will premiere this evening on the Mayo Dark Skies Facebook page and on YouTube .   To mark this event we the Education Team in the Ballycroy Visitor Centre have been busy again. Doireann has prepared an information sheet along with a quiz, click here to download. Head Guide Michael has been crafting again, and we will upload a video to our...

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Earth Day 2020 & Moths!

Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The Earth Day Network works in countries around the world to drive meaningful action for our planet across these issues of Climate Action, Science & Education, People & Communities, Conservation & Restoration, and Plastic & Pollution. For more information on Earth Day go to the official Earth Day website Here at the Ballycroy Visitor...

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Hare Folklore & the Easter Connection

Hares have a long association with springtime, as they are very visible at this time of year. The expression “Mad as a March Hare” alludes to the sparring activity that hares engage in during the mating season which peaks around this time of year. Check out the following link to see this activity: https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/watch-a-female-hare-battle-male-suitors.aspx Though, you might ask what hares have got to do with the Easter Festival! In Anglo Saxon mythology Eostra was the goddess of spring and she...

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Irish Mountain Hare

Spring is a time of birth and renewal; a time when nature is awakening from it's winter slumber. We begin to see some of the creatures that have rested or remained hidden over the cold winter days. One such animal that is more visible at this time of the year is the Irish Mountain Hare. Our National Park Guide Doireann has put together an information sheet and quiz on this uniquely Irish mammal. Click here to download the information sheet....

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Garden Birds

Our Education Team have been busy again in the Ballycroy Visitor Centre. Inspired by all the activity by our feathered garden visitors, Head Guide Michael has composed a wonderful poem in honour of garden birds: For those of you that want to learn more about the birds that inspired Michael's poem we have put together an information sheet. Click here to download this guide.

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