Slieve Croob


Viewpoint: Playrock (Slievenaslat) Car Park - Grid Ref. J332386

Slieve Croob is a much older landscape than the Mournes, formed before the dinosaurs walked the earth. This landscape has survived hundreds of millions of years of erosion by nature and the elements.

Slieve Croob is a much older landscape than the Mournes, formed before the dinosaurs walked the earth. This landscape has survived hundreds of millions of years of erosion by nature and the elements.

Key features

• A low, lumpy landscape of craggy granite outcrops, rising to the summit of Slieve Croob.
• On the foothills, outcrops of ancient granites have shallow acid soils which encourage gorse and bracken, often with evidence of 'lazy-bed' cultivation beneath.
• Vivid contrasts to the lowlands where, 'whale backed' drumlins have deeper, richer, cultivated soils, divided by stone walls and hedges. 
• Stone walls are double faced and wider at the base, built from a mix of rounded granite boulders and straighter edged shales.
• Small farms and traditional cottages lie along river valleys and roads, often with shelter belts of wind sculpted larch and pine trees.

Special feature - Farming

Farming in the granite uplands is limited by the altitude, high rainfall and poor acid soils.  The remains of 'lazy-beds', parallel lines in the marginal land of the uplands, once hand dug for growing potatoes, can still be seen, often by derelict farmsteads. 

Sheep farming predominates throughout the area traditionally using the Mourne black-faced sheep, a hardy breed able to cope with this harsher upland environment. These ewes produce cross-bred lambs for fattening on the better grasses of the lowlands.

Here too, sheep and beef cattle graze the fertilised bright green fields. These are also cut for silage to provide winter feed.

Arable agriculture is restricted to the deeper soils of the Mourne Plain and foothills where potatoes are a common crop.  The production of seed potatoes for export was once a major industry in Mourne, especially on the Mourne Plain where seaweed (wrack) was used as fertiliser.

Cultivation of cereal crops, barley and oats, is restricted to the drier and warmer edges of the Mournes. Fields of tall maize, used for cattle feed, have recently become a common sight.


Landscape landscapes Other Landscapes
  1. High Mourne Mountains
  2. Mourne Plain
  3. Slieve Roosley
  4. Slieve Croob
  5. The Drumlin Landscape
  6. Mourne Coast