Ecology on the Hill of Uisneach comes in many exciting forms. . . Our flora and fauna is second to none. The Hill of Uisneach is as sensitively farmed today as it was when the High Kings of Ireland worked the land. The slopes and dips on the Hill lend themselves nicely to a furtive imagination; they almost represent what deep swells may look like out in the middle of the Oceans and Seas!
Dappled across the landscape are contented cattle that gently graze the Hill and as curious creatures, may approach to do a ‘meet and greet’ while our guests are on tour, just as they would have done many moons ago when people traveled the landscapes, across farmlands.
There are habitats dotted across the Hill where nature has been left alone and in turn has worked its wonders, creating environments / micro-climates that work in tandem with the Hill. Beautiful, natural meadows and spaces adorn the Hill. They provide food and shelter, protecting the Hill’s wildlife. Bumble Bees are frequently heard busy at work and when listened to, provide a soothing, complementary background melody to the smaller nesting birds in the trees. The Bombus lapidariush, a beautiful and rare Bee frequents the meadows too, to lend its hand in cross-pollination.
Through sensitive conservation and managed planning, we have over 80% of the Hill’s hedging classified and protected as, Heritage Hedging.
We have had the opportunity several times to glimpse the Irish Hares that have made their homes in and around the Palace. During Spring is a great time to watch them with their young as they bounce in and out of the Hawthorn and Oaks around the Hill learning to hunt and forage.
Popping up through the year is fauna that is rare here in Ireland: A special feather in the cap for the Hill of Uisneach is at Lough Lugh. This small protected, pretty flowering plant: Narrow-leaved Bittercress (Searbh-bhiolar caol / Cardamine impatiens) grows happily, undisturbed. This rare native species is found only in four other areas across the island of Ireland.
In the Woodlands around the Hill are Buzzards. They can be heard hunting and seen often soaring above the treetops. It is a joy to watch nature in abundance, in a setting as pretty as the Sacred Centre of Ireland, the Hill of Uisneach.