Gort Moss

Gort MossOpening Times: Open all year round (free access)
Contact Details: Cookstown District Council: 028 8676 9949

Getting There: Take the B73 east from Cookstown to Coagh. After approx. 9.5 miles turn left at a Costcutter onto the Annaghmore Road following brown signs to Coyle’s Cottage & Kinturk Cultural Centre. Approx. 1 mile along this road you will pass Coyles Cottage on the right, continue for another 200m to Kinturk Cultural Centre – a new red brick building with a large car park (also on the right).

Site Description

This is a linear walk of 5 miles, along old moss roads and between leafy hedgerows close to the village of Ardboe. Begin the walk at the small white thatch cottage on the roadside and walk the series of Ramparts running through open farmland where a variety of birds such as song thrush and bullfinch frequent the hedgerows. Visit Curran Quay on the shore of Lough Neagh where birds such as great crested grebe and common tern can be seen in summer, and diving ducks such as tufted duck, scaup, goldeneye and pochard congregate in winter. Visit the footbridge over the Ballinderry River where wildlife such as kingfisher and banded damselfly can be seen in summer. Otters are present along the river here and may be spotted in early morning or late evening, and Irish hares are present the fields nearby.


Part of the site is an example of a cut over bog. Lowland raised bogs are peatlands which develop primarily in lowland areas below 150 m and are generally surrounded by mineral soils. The climate in Ireland is particularly well suited to peat formation with high rainfall, cool summers and high atmospheric humidity. These climatic factors, in conjunction with the geology, soil and physiography ensure that high groundwater levels are maintained throughout the growing season which is an essential factor for lowland raised bog development. There are around 120ha of lowland raised bog under management through the Countryside Management Scheme in the Lough Neagh Wetlands but it is unclear how much is of a quality recognised as the Northern Ireland priority habitat. The majority of the lowland raised bog resource in the Lough Neagh Wetlands has been damaged to some extent, with much of it drained, cutover or improved for agriculture. In the Lough Neagh Wetlands mechanized peat extraction is frequent.


Lowland raised bogs support rare plants such as the bog mosses Sphagnum pulchrum, S. austinii and S. fuscum as well as a number of higher plants, including great sundew, cranberry and bog rosemary. The diversity of fauna extends to Curlew, Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus, the Bordered Grey moth Selidosema brunnearia and Irish Hare Lepustimidus hibernicus which is associated with a number of other open habitats in addition to lowland raised bog.


  • Ballinderry River Foot Bridge: The Ballinderry River has been given national and international special protection status because of the rare and special plants and animals that including plant communities of water-crowfoot and the otter. The river is also home to the globally endangered freshwater pearl mussel. From here you may catch a glimpse of the unique Dollaghan trout, which is found only in Lough Neagh and its feeder rivers; as well as river brown trout and Atlantic salmon.
  • Coyles Cottage: A Fishermans Thatched Cottage, approximately 250 to 300 years old. Tourist attraction. Used as a meeting place for small cross Community Groups. The nearby Gort Moss Walk commences here.
  • Kinturk Cultural Centre: History of the Lough Neagh fishing and eel industry. Displays of old traditional boats and equipment. Boat trips and guided tours by arrangement. Wheelchair access. Sympathetic hearing scheme. Licensed restaurant. Open Seasonally.

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