The unique Mulranny causeway built across Trawoughter Bay in 1889, links the village and the Mulranny Park Hotel to Mulranny’s spectacular marine coastal environment including Mulranny’s blue flag beach, Rosmurrevagh Machair, Mulranny Salt Marsh and Mulranny Pier.
The salt marsh has a wealth of flora and fauna, particularly Orchids, sea lavender and the spectacular “Sea Pink Flower” which carpets the entire marsh in the month of May. It is this stunning natural environment that plays host to an impressive array of birds and it would be difficult to spend time in this area and not notice the birdlife many of which are migratory. Examples of some commonly found species are: Curlew, Widgeon, Grey Plover, Godwits, Oyster Catchers, Dunlins, Sand Pipers, Terns and Gulls.
This is a favorite wintering ground of a significant proportion of the entire Brent Geese population and you can be guaranteed plentiful sightings during autumn and winter.
This saltmarsh has developed in the quiet, sheltered conditions behind Mulranny beach. It is distinctive because of its complex drainage pattern. The grassy sward is composed of typical species such as Thrift, Sea Plaintain, Saltmarsh Grass, Rushes and Sedges, Sea Pimpernel with Glassword and Annual Seablite further down towards the sea. The marsh is used by some shore birds for feeding and resting but is possibly too enclosed for larger flocks. Saltmarshes occur on a small scale all around Clew Bay, but one of its size is rare. It also shows the full transition from sea to land. Mulranny Saltmarsh has a most unusual arrangement of channels, but few pans on the top surface. The high level of grazing which dwarfs all of the plants and prevents many of them from flowering is an interesting ecological factor.
The Mulranny Machair
On the western seaboard, low, flat, windswept sand plains known as Machair are found. Machair consists of a mixture of siliceous sand derived from glacial tills and sediments and calcerous sand derived from the shells of animals which lived on the offshore platform. Machair beaches are often found between rocky outcrops or in small bays between headlands. The upper limit of the beach is usually marked by a pebble or cobble ridge behind which there are dunes as is evident on the Mulranny Machair. Behind the dunes there is a gentle sloping plain whose degree of flatness is a reflection of age. The level of the machair plain is controlled by the underlying water table. Hence many machair areas are flooded during winter. A seaward escarpment marks the landward limit of the plain. The Mulranny Machair is a completely vegetation covered coastal plain, marram and lyme grass being the most common variety found. Orchids can also be found here on occasions. Grazing has an important role in machair formation and keeps the characteristic plant community in balance.
Mulranny Storm Beaches
In times of storm, the erosion function of waves is greatest but it is also during storms that Storm Beaches are created. Cobbles, pebbles and boulders are hurled up onto the shore, usually further inland than the level reached by high spring tides. The coarseness of this material usually ensures that the backwash of the retreating waves is reduced so that little material moves back down the beach. When the storm subsides, the deposited boulders remain where they were thrown, out of reach of the sea. Deposited material is never sorted by size and so storm beach material is varied in size although the stones and boulders are usually rounded and smooth from the abrasive action of the waves and the finer material suspended in the water. Mulranny Beach is a fine example of a Storm beach.