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Slieve Gallion facts for kids

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Not to be confused with Slieve Gullion.
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Slieve Gallion
Sliabh gCallann
Slievegallion.jpg
Slieve Gallion from the southwest
Highest point
Elevation 528 m (1,732 ft)
Listing Marilyn
Naming
English translation mountain of the heights
Language of name Irish
Geography
Location County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
OSI/OSNI grid H8188
Topo map OSNI Discoverer 13

Slieve Gallion (from Irish Sliabh gCallann, meaning 'mountain of the heights') is a mountain in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is the easternmost of the Sperrin Mountains. It reaches a height of 528 metres (1,732 ft) and dominates the western shore of Lough Neagh. Its prominent northeastern summit has a transmitter station with a small road leading to it, and stands at a height of 496 metres (1,627 ft).

By road, Slieve Gallion is 4 miles (6.4 km) from Moneymore, 8 miles (13 km) from Cookstown, and 8 miles (13 km) from Magherafelt. The mountain is part of the parishes of Desertmartin, Lissan and Ballinascreen.

Nature

Slieve Gallion is a volcanic plug. The mountain is formed from volcanic-derived igneous rock, and also granite on the southern slopes. It is steep, and has a flat top. There is a telecommunications mast on the northeastern summit. To the west, the landscape consists of blanket bog and coniferous forest; most of the trees in the Slieve Gallion area are Sitka spruce. There are also lodgepole pine trees, as well as oak towards the south of the area. Animal species living in the area include the Irish hare (a sub-species of the mountain hare), the curlew, and the red grouse. The otter can also be found around nearby rivers. Slieve Gallion is classed by the Northern Ireland Planning Service as an area of "High Scenic Value".

History

Peat formed at Slieve Gallion in the early Holocene period, around 10,000 years ago. The radiocarbon dating of pollen has shown that there were plants in the area 10,000 years ago. 7,000 ago, the number of alder trees steeply increased.

From the Middle Ages until the 20th century, gatherings were held on the mountain to mark the festival of Lughnasadh. In recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of sheep grazing in the area, as well as an increase in mountain biking and hill walking, contributing to erosion.

Sport

There was formerly a challenge walk/run from the village of Moneymore to the summit of Slieve Gallon, which took participants through idyllic countryside such as Cairndaisy glen and the Postmans Way. There is now a yearly mountain race from the foot of Inniscarn Forest to the mountaintop and back, which normally takes place on the last Saturday of September or the first Saturday of October. Organised under the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association, this event attracts some of Northern Ireland's top athletes and hosted the British & Ireland Junior Mountain Running Championships in October 2006.

The sports of Hang Gliding and Paragliding use Slieve Gallion. This site is considered a good starting point to go cross country as there is little in the way of airspace restrictions in a down wind direction from its predominate flyable faces.

Trivia

In 2019 a wind farm was constructed on its eastern side known as Crockandun wind farm.

Australian Gold firm Walkabout resources could collaborate with Koza UK to start a gold mine on the mountain. As of August 2020 the joint venture only hold a prospecting license and have not submitted plans for a gold mine. The project has been rejected by district council of Mid Ulster.

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