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Archallagan

A working plantation, Archallagan is popular with walkers and mountain bikers

Situated East of Foxdale, the name Archallagan means high ridge.

In 1873, by direction of Governor Loch, 371 acres were planted to form Archallagan Plantation.  Little & Ballantyne's Nursery supplied the trees which amounted to a staggering 2,250 of assorted types.  This plantation is exposed to all quarters, the only protection is given by South Barrule.  The planting was done by contract and the whole of the work was carried out in the short space of 3 months.  A large gang of unskilled labour was used and an extraordinary system of planting was adopted.  More than a dozen species was used including seven hardwoods.  A scheme was drawn up allotting each species its position in the stand.  The trees were planted only 3 feet apart and after the planting was finished the contracters went over the area and if a plant was found in the wrong position it was pulled up and the correct species inserted. In the 1920s the area was thinned and 14,000 trees were removed. Many of these tree species still exist here today such as the Corsican Pine, Sitka Spruce and Larch.

During the Second World War the plantation was almost completely cleared of its trees to provide mining timbers for export to the United Kingdom.

This plantation has an elevation of over 600 feet making parts of it very exposed, whilst other areas are almost glen like; there are marshy bogland areas and even rough moorland.  It provides a variety of vegetation such as lichens, heathers and rushes.

The wildlife consists mainly of rabbits, hares, wood pigeons, song birds and moorland nesting birds.  The largest of the ponds, which was created for wildlife interest and to attract game birds, naturally attracts plenty of ducks during their mating seasons.  It is also an excellent place to see dragonflies.  In the North West corner of the plantation is Cornelly or Jones' Mine, which was in operation from 1837 to 1886.  The deepest shaft was sunk to approximately 860 feet.  It was operated by the Isle of Man Mining Company and produced small quantities of rich Galena and Zinc blend ore.

The longest planned walking route around the plantation covers a distance of two and a half miles whilst others measure no more than a mile.  It must be noted that because of the site and nature of some of the areas within this plantation it can become very muddy underfoot and small children have been known to need carrying after getting their wellies stuck!

This is a working forest and some areas will, at times, need closing to the general public for safety reasons.

[Source: Manx Glens - A stroll through history]

[Acknowledgement: Suzanne Cubbon]

map of Archallagan