On my holiday in August, I visited the stunning Raven Nature Reserve.
The Raven Nature Reserve is a Ramsar site and national nature reserve of approximately 1,455.5 acres (5.890 km2).
The land on which The Raven is located was originally a long narrow sand spit. Sheltered the entrance of the Wexford Harbour. When the North Slob was created in the mid-19th century, the area was landlocked on its western side. So, the name Raven comes from the Irish Rabhainn meaning the spade-shaped piece of land. Which refers to the sand spit and its former shape. The area is now one part of a large system of sand dunes. Also with lagoons and a sand bar on the southern tip.
It is thought that the family who owned the land during the 19th century, the Tooles of Curracloe House, began planting the trees on the site. Today are predominately conifers such as Corsican Pine.
Then, in 1930 when The Raven was sold to the Minister of Agriculture with the planting of conifers starting soon after.
So, the Raven Nature Reserve was legally protected as a national nature reserve by the Irish government in 1983.
In 1986, the site was also declared Ramsar site number 333. The area is also a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.
What’s more, the woods are an important habitat for the native Red Squirrel. The Pine trees are important for these mammals. As they prefer to feed on pine cones rather than big seeds like acorns or hazelnuts.
Along with the North Slob, The Raven is home to 35% of the world’s population of Greenland and White-fronted Geese who over-winter there. The birds feed at the Slob during the day and roost on The Raven’s sand bar at night. It is also home to large numbers of wading birds who live there year-round. Other birds recorded there include crossbills and little terns. There is a rich flora on the reserve with rare species such as round-leaved wintergreen. Which is not found anywhere else in Ireland. A wide variety of butterflies can be seen in the reserve also.
Besides, the Raven is a popular destination for walkers and has a looped walk through the woods of 6.5km. This path is a compacted stone surface with little or no incline. There is parking at the entrance to the woods and a County Council car park.
The Raven Point Wood walking trail loop runs through sand dunes with woodlands consisting mainly of Corsican pine trees.
Raven walk is a 4.7-mile loop trail. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 1 h 33 min to complete. An easy and enjoyable 9 km walk on a mixture of open beach and woodland paths.
Location of Raven Nature Reserve:
Below my photos taken in August 2022.
In September I also had one week of holiday, so also went to Raven Nature Reserve.