9 National Trust Divis and the Black Mountain
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The cache is a traditional cache which will take you to an ancient location a little off the beaten track at the National Trust Divis and the Black Mountain.
Divis and the Black Mountain rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills which provide the backdrop to the city’s skyline. They are rich in wildlife, archaeology and history, with spectacular views across Northern Ireland and beyond.
See rare species in their natural habitat
Our property is significant for biodiversity with red grouse, stonechats, skylark, snipe and other upland breeding birds, while kestrels, peregrine falcons and ravens feed in the area. There are several occupied badger setts and on a walk through this habitat you may encounter a hiding Irish Hare or see a Marsh Fritillary butterfly flitting about. The mountains comprise a mosaic of grassland heath and bog. The heath is made up mainly of heather species but a closer look reveals some interesting flora such as the heath spotted orchid. Along the short grasses on the river banks you may unearth the many colours of waxcaps during the autumn and winter months. Thirteen species of waxcap fungi have already been identified on the site; one of them is a new record for Northern Ireland. A number of species found here in the mountains are identified as Northern Ireland Priority Species.
Divis and the Black Mountain came into the care of the National Trust in November 2004 and opened to the public in June 2005. There are walking trails along a variety of terrain – through heath, on stone tracks, along boardwalk and road surface, including the start of the 10km Divis Mountain to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park Trail.
The property is a working farm with free roaming cattle between April and November.
Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for walking in the area. The mountain environment can change rapidly. Please keep dogs under close control at all times.
Parking and entrance is free, but please note that the car park closes at 8pm - car park co-ordinates are N54' 35.950 W006' 02.530.
All of the caches can be done as part of the Divis and Black Mountain Series. The whole series will take approximately 7 hours to complete so ensure you have adequate snacks and water to sustain you.
This cache is also not far off the 10 mile Divis to Dixon Walk, so can be incorporated into that route.
This is a great place for a walk with the kids and goes off the beaten track without being too strenuous. Allow yourself at least 30-45 minutes to find this cache and return to car park - but take it at a dander and why not sit a while when you get there enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this special place.
The cache is located in the vicinity of Tipperary Rocks. Follow the Tipperary Road out and then head off the beaten track towards the ancient quarry site. We don't know how the Tipperary Road got its' name - maybe due to soldiers who were based here during WWII who were marched out the road - maybe it was 'A long way to Tipperary...' The Tipperary Rocks are believed to be a site of archaeological significance where the stone was quarried for the nearby stone enclosures and cashel. Look out for markings on the stones - some perhaps due to bullet holes from MOD training activities, some markings may even date back to ancient times – some of the markings on one of the boulders may even indicate that it was a sacrificial stone. We're going to get our National Trust archaeologists to take a look and will keep you posted.
Life on the hills dates back to around 9,000 years ago, when people lived in groups, moving around in search of food that they could hunt or gather. Gradually, around 4,500 – 2,100 BC, there was a change away from this lifestyle to the beginnings of farming. This meant people living in one place and keeping domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep and growing crops. As well as farming, these early people used flint from the mountains to make tools and weapons.
Just like today, the mountains have been used for cattle grazing for hundreds of years. There is an interesting site, visible to your left when heading from Tipperary Rocks across the stream towards the Black Mountain, of the remains of a fortified farm or ring fort, dating to the Early Christian period in Ireland of 1000 AD. This is the only one of its’ kind found on the entire island of Ireland.
The views from the cache site are stunning down the Collin Valley to the Mournes and you can pick out Ram's Island on Lough Neagh from here too. Listen and look out for the numerous skylarks which call this place home.
A small selection of usual swaps were available at the time of placing the cache as well as a National Trust Divis and the Black Mountain marker - if you're going to visit a geocache anywhere else in the world why not take it with you? There are also some information pamphlets included - feel free to take one with you.
Please be careful when uncovering the cache, muggles may be able to see you from the main walk so please be discreet when taking out the cache and hiding it again. If you see anything you like in the cache box, please trade up or even so everyone can enjoy the contents.
At the Long Barn there are toilet facilities, hot drinks and a picnic area for you to stop at as you head out on your journey. You can also borrow one of our GPS navigators from the Long Barn with all of our geocaches pre-loaded for your convenience.
Good Luck and enjoy your journey to this ancient site!
Ybbx sbe znexvatf ba n obhyqre naq svaq pnpur orarngu vg.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum