Armagh’s bilingual hillwalking group Siúil will continue their monthly hillwalking programme on Sunday 25 June. 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. The summit of Sawel Mountain is composed of crystalline limestone and the mountain is the source of the River Faughan which is a 29 mile (47 km) long tributary of the River Foyle.
The Sperrin Mountain range straddles the Derry and Tyrone border and is the longest mountain range in Ireland with 10 summits above 500 metres. The Sperrins’ plant life and habitats include bog, moorland, 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 weel known. Although relatively small, the Beaghmore Stone Circle accurately correlates with the movements of the sun, moon and stars.
The walk will be led by experienced hillwalker and mountaineer Éamonn Ó Flanagáin. The climb on Sawel will commence at 11.00am at the carpark in Cranagh village on the Glenelly Road between Plumbridge and Ballinascreen. The group recently completed a gruelling walk on Ireland’s highest peak Carrauntoohill and would welcome new members on Sunday 25 June. If you would like to take part in the walk on Sawel or if you would like further information on the Siúil group, contact Cairde Teo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 3751 5229.