Wild Walks: The Bog Vernon
Vernon Mount, locally referred to as the Bog or Bog Vernon is located in west Douglas, just south of the South Ring Road (N40). This site covers approximately 160,000 m2 and is the demesne of the original Vernon Mount house built in the 1700s. This area consists of a broad-leaved wooded valley to the east and some sparsely vegetated grassland to the west.
From Grange road
A walk around Vernon mount is roughly 1.7 km, but the site is surrounded by dense woodland and so can be extended to suit you.
Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes
Irish name: Sionnach
The red fox is the largest of the true foxes. They are dog-like in shape with a slim muzzle and a distinct, large bushy tail. They feed on rabbits, young hares, hedgehogs, and multiple species of ground nesting birds. Foxes live underground in dens, of which they usually have a number within their territory. They live in social groups ranging from 2 to 6 adults, although they are usually spotted alone. This is because they forage independently.
Scientific name: Chorthippus parallelus
Irish name: dreoilín teaspaigh léana
The meadow grasshopper lives in damp, grasslands. They are herbivorous species, feeding on grasses and sedges. They are preyed upon by birds and other insect species. A genetic mutation causes some meadow grasshoppers to be pink!
Scientific name: Petasites pyrenaicus
Irish name: Plúr na gréine
This plant is an invasive species, native to Sardinia and North Africa. In Ireland this plant reproduces vegetatively, as only male parts are found here. This is due to the introduction of winter heliotrope to Ireland during Victorian times not including female parts. This form of reproduction means that the entire population of winter heliotropes in Ireland are clones of the original introduced individuals. It flowers between November and March. This species favours moist soil and easily outcompetes native flora.
Scientific name: Apus apus
Irish name: Gabhlán gaoithe
Swifts spend almost all of their lives airborne and are not seen resting on wires, as swallows and martins do. This is due to their weak, small feet. They have a distinct scythe wing shape. They are one of the fastest flying birds in Ireland. Swifts are a migratory bird which visits Ireland each year to nest, arriving in early May and depart by late August. They feed on invertebrates caught during flight, including midges, flies, and spiders. They have been seen to nest in Vernon Mount House.
7 spot ladybird
Scientific name: Coccinella septempunctata
Irish name: bóín Dé sheachtbhallach
This is the most common ladybird in Europe. It has seven black spots distributed over its red elytra. These insects have an aposematic colouration and release toxic liquid from their leg joints when threatened. Despite this they are a food source for a variety of spiders and amphibians.