Beaumont Quarry  

Beaumont quarry is an old abandoned limestone quarry that lies adjacent to Pairc Uí Rinn and Temple Hill, just southeast of Cork city centre. It is very important for local biodiversity and wildlife conservation. Given its close proximity to the city, Beaumont quarry is a haven for Cork’s urban wildlife. Beaumont quarry is owned by Cork City Council. Cork Nature Network work in partnership with Cork City Council Parks Department and oversee the management plan for the site.

Credit: Kate Mahony

Objectives of the project

In collaboration with the Cork City Council and Beaumont local residents committee, Cork Nature Network has been working in Beaumont quarry since 2015 with the aim of protecting the site for conservation, research, education and recreation. As part of this project, we regularly hold events in the quarry to maintain the area and spread awareness about the importance of this site. Cork Nature Network’s 2022-2027 management plan for Beaumont quarry outlines six main objectives:

  • To conserve and enhance the dry calcareous grassland, an important semi-natural habitat within the city
  • To maintain the rare Red Data Book plant species little robin, the protected bat species and other native species of flora and fauna at favourable conservation status within the site
  • To conserve and enhance the other semi-natural habitats (woodland, scrub, hedgerow, caves) within the site
  • To develop the quarry as a recreational amenity area in a semi natural setting for public use within the city
  • To provide facilities and opportunities for education in conservation and natural history

Wildlife in Beaumont Quarry

Cork Nature Network has conducted several surveys in Beaumont quarry over the years and these have uncovered a wide variety of species. The site has a calcareous grassland habitat found on the limestone rock throughout the site. Calcareous grasslands are a relatively rare habitat characterised by mineral-rich, shallow soils. They can be highly biodiverse and in Beaumont quarry they are home to some uncommon species, including pale flax, common toadflax and greater burnet-saxifrage. The quarry also provides a refuge for a very rare species, the little robin (Geranium purpureum). This species is only found along the southern coast of Ireland. The presence of this species within Beaumont quarry is very important as it is classed as ‘near threatened’ in the Red Data List of Vascular Plants 2016.

In terms of animals, Beaumont is home to many different species including red fox, Irish hedgehog, and wood mouse. Several invasive animals have also been observed in the quarry, including the greater white-toothed shrew. A bat survey conducted in 2018 also found three bat species feeding in the quarry: common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and Leisler’s bat. 

Threats

Unfortunately, as with many natural sites, Beaumont quarry is affected by a variety of threats which impact on wildlife. These include the dumping of human litter, human disturbance, scrub encroachment, the presence of invasive species and pressures from urban development.

Cork Nature Network is consistently working to solve these issues through public awareness and intervention. 

Cork Nature Network endeavours to keep protecting the biodiversity within Beaumont quarry and to encourage awareness and education about the importance of wildlife conservation in the area. This site is of vital importance to Cork’s wildlife and it is crucial that it is protected.

Visit Beaumont Quarry

To gain access to the quarry there are two main entrances: you can enter the site from Beaumont Drive (sat nav. 51°53’32.1″N 8°25’44.6″W) or from Beaumont Cottages just off Churchyard Lane (sat nav. 51°53’31.1″N 8°25’54.5″W). From Beaumont Drive, climb up the hill behind the trees.

Events in Beaumont Quarry

Cork Nature Network regularly runs events throughout the year in Beaumont quarry, including our regular clean-ups (September to April), wildlife talks and events for families. We also have goats in the quarry to manage invasive species. If you are interested in getting involved with these events, or helping out with the Beaumont quarry project, and would like to sign up to the Friends of Beaumont Quarry email list please contact us.

Follow our social media to stay up to date with future events in Beaumont Quarry!

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Image Credits

Beaumont Quarry

Beaumont Quarry. Credit: Isobel Abbott

Gorse

Gorse. Credit: Isobel Abbott

Fox James Grandfield

Fox. Credit: James Grandfield

Hedgehog in a garden grass field

Hedgehog in a garden grass field. Credit: Rudmer Zwerver

Leisler bat

Leisler's bat. Credit: Jeroen Willemsen

Bat

Soprano Pipistrelle. Credit: Rebecca O'Sullivan

Beaumont quarry

Beaumont Quarry. Credit: Cdbrock at English Wikipedia

Group of people in Beaumont Quarry

bird call event in BQ. Credit: Julia McCarthy

Beaumont Quarry clean up

clean up volunteers. Credit: Kerri Sonnenberg

clean up volunteers with load of rubbish collected

clean up volunteers with rubbish. Credit: Cork Nature Network

Grassland course Beaumont Quarry

grassland course at Beaumont Quarry. Credit: Tara O'Donoghue

Easter egg hunt in Beaumont Quarry

Egg Hunt in BQ. Credit: Kerri Sonnenberg

Red fox cub

Do you want to find out more?

If you want to find out more, contact us today and we will be more than happy to help.

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