The walk we did on Sunday is part of the Foxford Way, a long distance walk (56 miles) though some of our stunning Mayo countryside. The great thing about the walk is that you can do little sections of it and this is what we did. This section of the walk starts just west of Pontoon Bridge. It follows a track through an area of bog/heath. This area was planted with a conifer plantation some time ago but thankfully someone realized this was a mistake as it was an area of old woodland, so the conifer plantation was cleared. As far as I can tell the area is left now for nature to takes it course. Already birch and willow trees are coming back and hopefully oak and hazel will return over time.
The place-name is Laughil, in Irish na Leathchoille. Leath can mean half or side and Coille is a wood. Looking at old ordnance survey maps this area was wooded since at least the 1840’s. Once you get past the area of that has been cleared you find old oak trees, covered in moss and lichens, hazel too is abundant, and holly. There is moss, everywhere.
And lichens, including this one Lobaria pulmonaria, an indicator lichen for old woodlands.