Wild Walks: Beaumont Quarry
Beaumont Quarry is in Ballintemple. The site is a disused limestone quarry which has been left to regenerate since its closure in the 1960s. Due to its limestone bedrock and previous land-use, the site has a cave network and is characterised by calcareous grassland which is a rare habitat in Ireland.
Rare flowers such as the little robin, pal flax and common toadflax flourish amongst the grass and limestone cracks. There are also patches of broad-leaved woodland, wet willow wood, scrub and hedgerow on site, providing a wide variety of resources for mammals, birds and insects. On a sunny day, you are likely to spot woodland and grassland butterflies, like the tortoiseshell butterfly, as well as a plenty of busy bumblebees, moving amongst the flowers.
The bus stops just before the quarry entrance on Beaumont Drive. Alternatively, you can entire the site via Silverdale Avenue, Woodvale avenue, and Churchyard lane.
Scientific Name: Linum bienne
Irish Name: Líon beag
This delicate pale blue native flower grows in dry grassland and on calcareous soil, typical of Beaumont Quarry. Flowers bloom in June and July, displaying five petals, which fall off before the round fruit appears.
Scientific Name: Linaria vulgaris
Irish Name: Buaflíon
This attractive perennial is common in meadows, wasteland, verges and hedgerows. Its striking flowers, reminiscent snapdragons are yellow and orange with long ‘spurs’ clustered near the top of the stem. Buff-tailed and white-tailed bumbles are frequent visitors the flower.
Scientific Name: Geranium purpureum
Irish Name: Eireaball rí
Easily confused with the more commonly found Herb-Roberts, Little-robin is a rare species typically found in the south and south-east. What sets it apart is its yellow anthers where pollen is produced.
Scientific name: Aglais urticae
Irish name: Ruán Beag
Small tortoiseshells are widespread in Ireland, common in gardens, woodlands and hedgerows. They hibernate over winter and can sometime be found in houses during this time. Nettles are an important food source for this species and can be found on site as well.
Scientific name: Bombus lucorum
Irish name: bumbóg earrbhán
One of Ireland’s most common bumblebee species, they are found across a range of habitats. They have a mostly black thorax except for a yellow band at the top, and a yellow, black, and white abdomen. Males have yellow hairs on their face and neck band. They emerge early in spring and feed on flowers through to late summer. Beaumont Quarry supports a range of pollinators by having a good diversity of flowering plants and trees.