Killeavy Castle Estate Launches £1.5m Landscape Restoration Project

By Robert McHugh
Killeavy Castle Estate Launches £1.5m Landscape Restoration Project

Killeavy Castle Estate launched a £1.5 million (€1.7 million) Landscape Restoration Plan earlier this month.

The plan encompasses the restoration of 365 acres of woodland, farmland and mountain that make up Killeavy Castle Estate in the Slieve Gullion area of the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark.

The Landscape Restoration Project at Killeavy Castle Estate is set to span 15 years, with ongoing additions and enhancements as it evolves.

'Heritage Preservation'

"Today marks a significant milestone in our restoration journey at Killeavy Castle Estate which commenced 10 years ago with the castle, historic buildings and farmlands which were all derelict," said Mick Boyle, owner of Killeavy Castle Estate.

"Our commitment to restoring and enhancing this remarkable landscape is a testament to our dedication to sustainability, heritage preservation, and the well-being of our community and guests."


Woodland Walks

Killeavy Castle Estate was purchased in 2013 by husband and wife, Mick and Robin Boyle, and following a £13 million (€14.9 million) investment, the Boyles transformed the estate into an award-winning four-star hotel which opened in 2019, complete with events centre, spa, working farm, and woodland walks.

In 2022, the estate announced a partnership with the Northern Ireland Forest Service, The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland, and Newry Mourne & Down District Council.

Biodiversity Corridor

That partnership is supporting Killeavy Castle Estate as it embarks on the ambitious task of planting 50,000 trees, increasing the 35 acres of native ancient woodland on Killeavy Castle Estate to over 115 acres in order to create a biodiversity corridor and Slieve Gullion native woodland that will extend to over 200 acres across Killeavy Castle Estate and the adjacent Slieve Gullion Forest Park.

Both Mick and Robin Boyle said they engaged with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland and ecological consultant, Michael Meharg to map out and understand the health and condition of the flora, fauna, and biodiversity of the broader Estate lands with reports from both parties forming the foundation documents for the Killeavy Landscape Restoration plan.

'Positive Transformations'

“The plan that has been devised not only promises to enrich the natural environment, supporting the flourishing flora, fauna, and wildlife, but also extends its benefits to the people of South Armagh and beyond," said Robin Boyle.

"We eagerly anticipate the positive transformations that this project will bring to this beautiful region."