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Ring of Gullion AONB

Last updated: 15 August 2011


Date of designation: 1991


Area: 15,329 ha


The Ring of Gullion is one of only a few small areas in Ireland to have so clearly retained its local identity. People have lived in the area for over 6,000 years and have expressed their feelings about the landscape through the ages in local literature, poetry, music, folk history and art. This thriving cultural heritage has survived to the present day. The shared traditions of the people, in their virtually enclosed landscape with its historic frontier, has forged a unique culture which is warm, friendly and welcoming.

Ring of Gullion

The Ring of Gullion is regarded as the as the finest expression of a ring dyke in the British Isles and was the first ring dyke in the world to be geologically mapped. The heather clad bulk of Slieve Gullion mountain lies at the centre of the AONB, which takes its name from the encircling ring of lower rugged hills. Rich wildlife habitats of heath, bog and woodland contrast with the neatly patterned fields and ladder farms. Slieve Gullion's reputation as Ireland's mountain of mystery arises from its rich associations with Irish legends and myths.

A Management Strategy

We are keen to ensure that there is a robust management strategy in place so that the area makes progress in a sustainable way, whilst keeping its special landscapes and those features that make it of national interest.

AONB landscapes are intended to be vibrant places with thriving communities, so it is important that the people of the Ring of Gullion are involved in managing its future. A management strategy is currently being developed.

Further information can be obtained on the AONB by visiting
Ring of Gullion AONB Logo