Ox Mountain Range

The Ox Mountains lie along Sligo’s border with Co. Mayo. Rivers and lakes are a common sight, with the Easky Lough at the heart of this remote and wild landscape. Easky Lough is an example of an oligotrophic lake and supports vegetation such as Bulbous Rush, Water Horsetail, Bog Pondweed and quillwort. The River Moy also rises in the Ox Mountains. Some parts of the mountains are extensively forested, and the highest point is Knockalongy, which rises to 1,785ft.

Many blanket bogs are also present in the upland areas of the mountain range, with the characteristic abundance of bogland vegetation of heathers, Purple Moor-grass, Common Cottongrass and bog mosses. There are also a number of bog pool systems in the area, with the associated Sphagnum Moss lawns. These bogs are an important conservation area, especially due to the winter presence of Greenland White-fronted Geese and Golden Plovers. Both species of bird are listed on the EU Birds Directive and the Irish Red Data Book.

The underlying rock of the Ox Mountains is mainly composed of shists, gneisses and granite. In past times, copper and lead mines were worked in the area but this came to an end long before the 20th century.

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