Wildlife

Unspoilt Sherkin Island is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty and character of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Explore Sherkin’s coastal heathlands as you hike beside the beautiful bays of Horseshoe Harbour and Trabawn. On the northern side of the marsh at Trabawn, where many wetland plants have their home, you’ll find a carpet of tiny wildflowers in summer, and the pastures on the southeastern side of the bay will be bright with orchids and other grassland flowers.

 

 

On the south side of Kinish Harbour, you’ll find the island’s saltmarshes and woodland. And close to Cow and Silver Strands – beautiful beaches with gorgeous views over the Atlantic and Cape Clear island – the grassland is a mass of orchids and other flowers in June.

 

The stone walls and sheltered lanes of Sherkin reveal a wonderful array of ferns. Many of the cottages you pass have delightful gardens that form a lovely contrast with the Fuchsia hedges that blossom so beautifully throughout the summer.

Sherkin Island Marine Station

Sherkin Island Marine Station was founded in 1975 by Matt Murphy and his late wife, Eileen. It is still run by Matt and his family, and its work focuses on the marine life of Roaringwater Bay.

The Marine Station is located on the north-west end of the island on a 16 acre site. The Station, which began as a small, 140 sq. ft. laboratory is now a large complex of 5 laboratories, and its library contains some 100,000 books, journals, reports, and reprints, together with an herbarium of plants and seaweeds.

You can see an exhibition about the Station’s work in The Islanders’ Rest near the harbour.
To find out more about the station, visit its website at http://www.sherkinmarine.ie/

Bird Life on Sherkin

Sherkin Island is a home to a wide array of birdlife, and migrating birds can also be seen here in the autumn. Listen in to get a sense of how wonderful it is to be surrounded by the sound of island birdsong!