The Purt reserve lies in the remote and deserted valley of Glen Dhoo near the confluence of tributary streams at Ballaugh. This section of the valley is hemmed in by the steep slopes of Slieau Curn, Slieau Dhoo and the area of Ballaugh Plantation. Glen Dhoo means "Black/Dark Glen", a name certainly appropriate late in the day when Slieau Curn casts its shadow. High on the hill slopes above the reserve are hut circles - vestiges of a time when animals were taken to the high pastures for the summer months. One of the streams feeding into the valley has its source in a corrie created in the ice ages. The word Purt or Port probably means "boggy/marshy ground". The roofless house within the reserve is a reminder of a small farming community which still occupied this remote glen in the late nineteenth century. Beyond the top boundary of the reserve are the remains of a water mill and dam. The river at the first ruined cottage is bridged by a long flagstone, typical of the old river crossings in the parish of Ballaugh.
The grassland, once good sheep pasture, is being invaded by gorse and bracken. Lemon-scented fern is found along the river. Hen harriers, ravens, stonechats and linnets breed in the area. Peregrines frequent the valley and herons have also been recorded along the river.
Invading gorse and bracken are being controlled. Areas with regenerating trees will be allowed to grow into natural woodland. It is hoped to increase the diversity of meadow flowers following control of gorse and bracken. Livestock will graze on the grassland areas.
How to get to The Purt
Grid ref SC 351909. Take the road to the Ballaugh Glen, between The Raven pub and Ballaugh Bridge. You can drive as far as the forestry car park. The lane to the reserve is just below the car park. Walk the final mile along a green lane (Bayr Glass) which is roughly parallel with the river.