Behind BBC’s On Your Farm: farming and blanket bogs on Divis Mountain

With strong winds and low cloud, Belfast’s neighbouring Divis Mountain is an unforgiving landscape in which to farm.

But, as BBC Radio 4’s Ruth Sanderson discovered in On Your Farm, the National Trust-owned moorland is exactly where two farmers have chosen to make their living.

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The view towards Belfast from Divis mountain. Credit: National Trust Images/Nick Meers

Their beef cattle graze the 2,000 acre mountain from spring to autumn – with the grazing helping to maintain the important upland bog habitats.

Children walking past cattle at Divis, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

A cow looks on at Divis, near Belfast. Credit: National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Dermot McCann, the National Trust’s ranger on Divis, said: “The mountain is one of the most pristine uplands in Northern Ireland and used to be owned by the MOD.

“The blanket bog on Divis boasts a wide variety of upland plants here. Across the world, blanket bog is rarer than coral reef and in places here the bog is eight metres deep.

“The mountain can get quite desolate and when the cloud drops you can barely see in front of you. Yesterday we had winds gusting at over 70 miles an hour.

“But on a clear day it’s one of the best viewpoints in Northern Ireland. When the cloud is up I can see England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and right across Lough Neagh to the Sperrin mountains.”

Listen again to BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm.


One thought on “Behind BBC’s On Your Farm: farming and blanket bogs on Divis Mountain

  1. I’m sure the Curlews, Lapwings and Golden Plovers for one, love the views too. Only if you can keep them safe from predators will they stay to breed, year on year. Ok, I’ve said it, I’mm rather bird obsessed.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell and naturestimeline

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