Bellaveeny lies on north-facing slopes within the Nephin Beg mountain
range, approximately 7 kilometres northeast of Mulranny, Co. Mayo.
This is the largest site in the project covering an area of 344 hectares,
160 hectares of which is planted mostly with lodgepole pine (Pinus
contorta). A portion of the site lies within the Owenduff Special
Area of Conservation which encompasses the catchment of the Owenduff
river, one of the most natural and least disturbed acid-sensitive
catchments in the country.
The project site includes the larger of two forestry plantations lying
adjacent to a tributary of the Owenduff River. The SAC boundary here
bisects a large conifer forest, but it follows the catchment boundary
of the Owenduff to include only the forest lying within the Owenduff
catchment itself. To the south of its afforested portion, the project
site includes a large area of unplanted upland blanket bog, wet heath,
acid grassland and corrie lakes. The largest of these lakes is Lough
Anaffrin - a spectacular corrie lake surrounded by steep slopes on three
sides. Most of the unplanted land within the project area is severely
eroded due to the recent high intensity of sheep grazing.
The conifers which dominate the northern portions of the site will be
felled and left on site over a number of years while a portion of the
unplanted land will be fenced in an effort to exclude sheep and thus
facilitate the recovery of blanket bog and wet heath areas. One of the
main aims at this site is to study the recovery of severely eroded
blanket bog and wet heath habitats.