Clonbur Community Council has a very good relationship with Coillte and the local Coillte manager who is always helpful and enthusiastic in joint efforts which benefit Clonbur and the surrounding woodland, such as the development of woodland walks and organised litter pick ups.
The lands were formally part of the Ashford Estate which was owned by the Guinness family until 1939. The remains of Ballykine Castle are hidden among the beeches along the route of the Clonbur Wood trail (not way marked). It is worth a brief visit. This is the remains of an old De Burgo fortification which formally stood near the lake’s edge but is now standing inland as a result of drainage.
The existing forest roads provide a very pleasant walk through Clonbur Wood. The main looped walk is approx. 5.6 km long. Traversing mixed woodlands, it skirts along the south edge of Lough Mask providing a panoramic view of the lake and its islands.
The main tree species here include Sitka spruce, Norway spruce, Scots pine, Ash, Beech, Yew, Birch and Oak. Many of the exotic conifers have recently been felled as some of this area has been designated as a Life site (Life Nature project restoring priority woodland habitats). Pine martin, otter, red squirrel, badger, hare, stoat are the main species of wildlife associated with the area. The bird life includes widgeon, mallard and woodcock.
There is signage along your route outlining the work undertaken to restore 293 hectares of priority woodland under Coillte’s Life nature project. The restoration project was co-funded by Coillte and the EU...(Project started in 2006 and completed in 2009)
As locals will know, the area has strong links with the forestry business and woodland culture past and present. There is a current enthusiasm and growing interest among the local community to the value of this kind of woodland habitat (woodland associated with limestone pavement).