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Murlough National Nature Reserve

Last updated: 5 February 2010

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.

picture of dunes at Murlough with Mournes in the backgroundThe 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 orchidOpens in New window, carline thistle and rare and colourful butterflies. The sea buckthornOpens in New window 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.

picture of beach at MurloughFrom 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.


Car park, toilets, visitor centre, paths, disabled access.


The National Trust Warden at Tel 028 4375 1467.