Places:Start at C18695 20995, Moyle Hill, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
Moyle Hill is a small prominence about 3 km south of Milford in east Donegal and is our nearest MV summit. We can clearly see it from our house, but since moving here in 2017, its diminutive size had not inspired us to seek it out and tick it off our ‘new’ (sigh!!!) Local 100 list. However, being stuck at home during the lockdown with signs of cabin fever beginning to make themselves evident made us look at this wee hill in a more kindly light. As it falls within the 5km Covid-19 lockdown limit, we took the opportunity to climb it and get some exercise. As we could do it from our house, it made for a pleasant round trip of over 7km through a maze of quiet country lanes alive with birdsong and bursting with blooming gorse and may trees. ‘Moyle’ is probably derived from the Irish for 'bald', due to the underlying bedrock comprised of an intrusive metamorphosed igneous sill of lower Dalradian age (650Ma), and in the past the hill would have been a bare rocky prominence with only sparse vegetation. But it now sports a wide range of native trees, including hazel, willow and rowan, as well as some non-indigenous conifers which can clearly be seen covering the top of the summit leaving just a radio mast protruding above the treeline. A track (beyond a couple of gates off the high point of the Drumman to Milford road) rises steeply towards the mast set in a small clearing at the summit (there are new cable stays on this which obviously necessitated some vegetation removal along the trackway which has made access easier). Amid the trees, the shady ground was misty with patches of sweet-scented bluebells. The views from the summit are unfortunately somewhat restricted due to the trees, but from the bend where the trackway curves upwards to the right, it’s possible to see as far as the smoky-grey peaks of the Derryveagh Mountains. Spread out below is the 2.5km-long Lough Fern and the serpentine coils of the River Leannan flowing through the surrounding wetlands which are a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the E.U. Birds Directive. The lake and wetlands form a shallow system, with a maximum depth of 2.5 m, and are of special conservation interest and ornithological importance for Pochard, wintering waterfowl such as Whooper Swan, and various species of diving duck. Part of the Lough Fern SPA is a Wildfowl Sanctuary. Indeed, the whole area is rich in natural resources, and this accounts for the remains of a Bronze Age crannog off the lake’s northern shore. The vista of Lough Fern from the slopes of this wee hill were surprisingly good, as we’d only ever viewed it from its shoreline. It’s easy to overlook the beauty and interest on your doorstep, something the lockdown has drawn into sharp perspective.
Uploaded on: Tue, 19 May 2020 (21:26:56) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4295/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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