Site: Clara Bog, Clara, Co.Offaly Managed by: NPWS - The National Parks and Wildlife Service Website: Clara Bog
Description: Clara Bog is in Co. Offaly. The bog is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a statutory Nature Reserve, established in 1987. It covers approximately 460 hectares, and is situated about 2 kms south-east of Clara town. The Visitor Centre for Clara Bog is co-located at the library in Clara(staffed in summer months but info available year round). There are too many key species to mention, Merlin breed here, Hares, Otters, Fallow Deer, Large Heath Butterfly, Common Lizard (very good site for these), newts, frogs and all sorts of invertebrates. Fantastic site for specialised peatland plants, Deergrass, Cottongrass and Sundew just a few examples.
Best time to visit: Most bogs are at their best in the spring and summer when the specialist plants and animals are in bloom and active. The stands of wild flowers, dragonflies and butterflies between May and September are well worth the visit. Winter is a great time to try get a glimpse of the beautiful but deadly Merlin (Ireland smallest bird of prey), it is a small, agile bird of prey. Numbers increase in winter where they often use Irish bogs as their winter territories.
Access/Facilities: Access to the bog is along the Clara to Rahan road (New Road). There is a car park on the left-hand side, and opposite, a track way into the bog.
The 1000m Boardwalk is accessible from the R436 - Clara-Rahan Rd (Signposted from Clara town center)