Murlough National Nature Reserve
Grid Reference: J 414351
Murlough National Nature Reserve is situated on the County Down coast below the Mourne Mountains. It is a fragile 5,000 year old sand dune system with heathland and woodland surrounded by estuary and sea.
The varied habitats within the reserve are home to a wide range of animals and plants including badgers and stoats, delicate flowers such as the pyramidal orchid, carline thistle and rare and colourful butterflies. The sea buckthorn of the heathland attracts nesting willow warblers and whitethroats and in winter its orange berries are a valuable food source for wintering thrushes, such as fieldfare and redwing.
Many species of wader, duck and geese visit the estuary, spring and autumn migration time being of particular interest.
From the magnificent beach, sea watchers can observe more sea birds and in the summer and autumn both common and grey seals. The rich wildlife of this area changes with the seasons but there is always something of interest.