Ballygannon Wood


The wood straddles both sides of the Avonmore river valley, one kilometre north of Rathdrum village, Co Wicklow on the Rathdrum to Laragh/ Glendalough road.

Site Description

Ballygannon Wood is part of the Wicklow oakwoods, the second largest oak forest in Ireland. It also forms part of the Clara Vale Nature Reserve, most of which is a proposed Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a National Heritage Area (NHA) . The Irish name Baile na gCanonach, means "The town or dwelling of the canons ". The canons - clerics attached to a cathedral - owned land near Rathdrum and had been brought to Dublin by St. Laurence O' Toole in the 12th century.

The wood was once part of the Watson-Wentworth estate. It had been managed under a coppice system for at least 350 years . In coppicing, the trees are cut down to a stump but quickly grow again and the new, straight shoots are often harvested as poles. A large part of the woodland was cleared before 1750 and many more trees were cut down during the two World wars.

Coillte has restored Ballygannon as a working oak wood where conservation and timber production will take place side by side. Over 40,000 oak trees, grown from acorns collected in Co Wicklow, have been planted. Ballygannon Wood is one of 16 native woodlands that have been restored.

During various times of the year wild honeysuckle, bilberry , primroses, bluebells and violets grow on the forest floor. Fauna in the wood includes long-eared owls, woodcocks, red squirrels, badgers and foxes.

Ballygannon is a Millennium Forest. For more information on Ballygannon visit

Ballygannon Wood Features

Millennium Forest, Picnic Site, Walking Trails, Nature Conservation,

How do I get there?

From Rathdrum village, take the R755 north heading for Laragh. Ballygannon Wood is one kilometre out this road. The entrance to the car park is on your right hand side.

Get directions to this site


No of car spaces:15
map legend

Contact Info

Contact name:Aidan Walsh