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14 Oct 2016

Armagh’s bilingual hillwalking group Siúil will continue their monthly walking programme on Saturday 29 October. The group will be visiting Sawel Mountain, the highest peak in the Sperrin range standing at 678 metres or 2224 feet, and the highest point in counties Derry and Tyrone. As well as taking on Sawel, the group will also take in the nearby peak of Dart Mountain, which is also over 2000 feet in height. The summit of Sawel Mountain is composed of crystalline limestone. Sawel Mountain is the source of the River Faughan which is a 29 miles (47 km) long tributary of the River Foyle.

The Sperrin Mountain range straddles the Derry and Tyrone border and is the largest mountain range in Ireland with 10 summits above 500 metres. The Sperrins plant life and habitats include bog, moor land, woodland, rivers, heather, bilberries and cowberries. The Cloudberries found on the western slopes of Sawel are a rare alpine plant resembling the related strawberry plant. The rivers adjacent to the mountains offer excellent trout fishing. Wildlife such as kestrels, buzzards, sparrowhawks, rabbits, badgers and hares are all present.

Over 90 sets of stone circles have been found in the Sperrin Mountains. The Beaghmore Stone Circles in the south east of the range are the most well known. Although relatively small, the Beaghmore Stone Circles accurately correlate to movements of sun, moon and stars.

The walk will be led by experienced hillwalker and mountaineer Éamonn Ó Flanagáin. The climb on Sawel and Dart will commence at 11.00am at the carpark in Cranagh village on the Glenelly Road between Plumbridge and Ballinascreen. The group recently completed an enjoyable 4 hour hike on Cuilcagh Mountain and would welcome new members on Saturday 29 October. If you would like to take part in the walk on Sawel and Dart or if you would like further information on the Siúil walking group, contact Cairde Teo at sean@cairdeteo.com or 028 3751 5229.