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Harbour to Headwater Biodiversity Trail




The Avoca River which flows into Arklow has its origins in the Wicklow Mountains, with many tributaries such as the Glenelo, Glenmacnass, Avonmore, Avonbeg, Derry, and Ow Rivers all coming together to flow into the Irish Sea at Arklow. A new Harbour to Headwater Biodiversity Trail explores this catchment area highlight the magnificent and varied local wildlife and the significant wealth of flora and fauna that exist on both the land and in the water.


In 14 locations across the region from the Harbour in Arklow right up along the river catchment to the Headwaters of Glenmalure, you can find information panels specific to each of those points on the River network. In addition, an online interactive resource provides more information on local biodiversity with the option to take part in citizen science activities. You can look out for and identify aquatic insects (macro-invertebrates) and learn which are more sensitive insects, such as mayflies, and how they are intrinsically linked to water quality.


Find the main Information Panel outlining the Harbour to Headwaters Biodiversity Trail in Arklow Town before you choose which of the three trails you would like to undertake!


Blue Trail (Avoca-Avonmore)

This trail begins in Arklow before moving out along the river to Woodenbridge, where the Aughrim River and the Gold Mines River meet the Avoca River main channel. The information panel here tells the story of the Woodenbridge Hotel, the oldest in Ireland, and about the Wicklow gold rush and World War I memorial Park.

A third panel at ‘The Meetings of the Waters’, tells of the joining of two of the largest tributaries of the catchment, the Avonbeg and Avonmore, and the locations association with Arts and Literature, especially Thomas Moore. Learn about the wildlife and ecosystems of the Avonmore River Catchment, including our exceptional pristine waters


Yellow Trail (Aughrim-Ow)

The Aughrim – River Ow Catchment includes four locations in Woodenbridge, Aughrim Village, Ballinglen Bridge and Aughavannagh. This part of the catchment is notable for its local water heritage such as the instream weirs and bridges and local industry (old mills, forestry, fisheries, and hatcheries).


Green Trail (Avonbeg)

The Avonbeg River Catchment has four locations, starting at the ‘Meetings of the Waters’ and then on to Ballinaclash and Glenmalure (Drumgoff Bridge and Barravore Ford). Learn more of the significant flora and fauna that existing along the Avonbeg River, the mining and forestry heritage of the valley and about some of the wonderful walking trails through the valley.


More information at www.wicklowrivers.ie (Full details to follow in May 2021)


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