Photo credit: David Bell

An Taisce now owns the remaining portion of the once extensive Rossmore family estate in County Monaghan and extending into County Tyrone. The landholding comprises 2,200 acres, approximately two thirds of which is in County Monaghan and the remainder in County Tyrone. 

It comprises the unenclosed upland heathland area of Sliabh Beagh, which is the highest point in Monaghan and designated as a European Natura 2000 site for its ecological value on both sides of the border. Notably, the site supports one of the best blanket bog habitats in Ireland as well highly protected bird species such as the Hen Harrier. Heathers, bog asphodel, bilberry, bog cotton and a range of mosses can be found throughout the site. This rich heathland habitat also supports red grouse, hares, rabbits, buzzards, Golden Plover, and skylarks, among others. 

The lands form part of the Sliabh Beagh Special Protection Area (SPA), an EU-designated site for the protection of Hen Harrier. The lands are also designated as a Natural Heritage Area under the Wildlife Act 1976. The site is currently part of the EU-funded Collaborative Action for Natura Networks and the Department of Agriculture funded Hen Harrier conservation programme.

In accepting the generation donation of this site, An Taisce will ensure its ongoing appropriate protection and management, while working with the local community and promoting cross-border nature conservation, education and awareness.

HNV farmer Pat McKenna currently holds a lease to graze Dexter cattle on a low impact basis on some of An Taisce's land. Find out more in the links below.

Area: 2,200 acres

Acquired by An Taisce: March 2020

Acquired from: the late Paddy Rossmore