Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Creatures of the Night Picnic in Slieve Gullion Forest Park

On Wednesday 10 August, the Ring of Gullion will be hosting a picnic with a difference at Slieve Gullion Forest Park. The ‘Creatures of the Night Picnic’ gives visitors the chance to see what goes bump in the night, while watching and listening out for bats and moths in this brilliant wildlife venue.

Visitors can experience a short walk in the woodlands to search for the elusive bats with special bat monitors and at the same time trying to lure the bats into special bat nets.

Mammal expert, Dave Tosh will provide a short talk about these exceptional creatures in Slieve Gullion Forest Park’s walled garden. There will also be talks on other mammals that appear at night such as foxes, badgers and pine martens.

Moth traps will be available for families to take home and try out in their own garden. You can then return these to Slieve Gullion the next morning, to uncover what was found during the night.

The night will provide a great opportunity for all the family to have a close encounter with wildlife. Booking is essential and if you are coming along to join in, please bring sturdy footwear, a small picnic, warm clothing and a torch.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “Bats are probably the most misunderstood mammal species of all times, the bats are a unique group of mammals, as they are the only true flying mammals. A lot of people are scared of bats, but  then  once you  know  enough  about  them, they  don’t  seem  scary  at  all.”

“A bat is just another animal, flying about in search of food and hanging in trees and buildings  to get some rest. They are of great help to nature and humans. We are delighted to provide everyone with a chance to learn more about these creatures who make themselves busy during night-time hours in the Ring of Gullion.”

The Ring of Gullion Lúnasa Festival will be running for the month of August in beautiful South Armagh. There will be at least one event taking place every single day throughout the month. These will range from small drop-in craft workshops to our major weekend-long celebration of the fabulous, ‘Footsteps in the Forest’. Visitors will be able to take in cooking, hiking, geology, history and art! To find out more visit

This event is free and supported by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For further information visit, or contact 028 3082 8590.