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Photo of Carrowmore Beach

Carrowmore Beach........

‎Carrowmore Beach extends approximately 800 metres from Carrowmore Quay located in the west to the Bunowen River which divides the beach and Tulin Strand in the east. The beach is backed by steep cliffs and the land rises steeply to a height of 145 metres at Carrowmore Hill.


On the western seaboard, low and flat windswept sand plains known as Machair are found. Machair consists of a mixture of sands derived from the shells of animals which lived on the offshore platform and from glacial tills.

Machair beaches are often found between 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. Behind the dunes is usually a gently sloping plain whose degree of flatness is a reflection of age. The level of the machair plain is controlled by the underlying water table. This is the reason that many machair areas are flooded during winter. Machair is a completely vegetation covered coastal plain, marram and lyme grass being the most common varieties found.

Lyme  Marram

Sand Dunes

Sand carried inland by onshore winds is deposited in streamline form around some obstacle. Plants then colonise these small mounds of sand. As sand deposition proceeds, their foliage creates even more deposition and the root network binds the sand into low embryo dunes. As these dunes grow in height they coalesce parallel to the shoreline. In turn they are colonised and stabilised by other establishing plants and the dunes continue to grow.

Dune Erosion

Almost all dunes are subject to erosion, most commonly caused by “Blow-outs”. This happens when the wind gains access to the sand beneath the vegetation at the crest and rapidly erodes the surface causing a depression. As the wind is channelled into is the depression grows until its width reduces the channelling effect of the wind, leaving low-lying rolling dune pasture called Machair.

Frontal erosion occurs when the entire seaward face of the dune system is cut back by storm waves. This can be recognised by a steep slope of loose sand and slipping clumps of crestal vegetation.

Bird Life….

Waders such as the Snipe, Lapwing and Oystercatcher are frequently spotted in this area.

Snipe‎Snipe  Oystercatcher‎Oystercatcher

The Gull family is well represented with the Common Gull, Kittiwake, Blackheaded Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull all visitors to the beach.

 Lesser Black Backed Gull

Lesser Black Backed Gull

Terns are also sighted with the Arctic Tern, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern being the most commonly noted.

Cormorants and Shags have also been spotted.

Arctic Tern‎Arctic Tern  Sandwich Tern‎Sandwich Tern
Shag‎Shag  CormorantCormorant


Carrowmore Beach Legend Map (Document)

Carrowmore Beach Legend Map
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Mayo Beaches

Environment Section
Second Floor
Mayo County Council
The Mall
Co Mayo
Phone: (094) 9024444
Open: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cycle Routes - Louisburgh

Cycle Routes - Louisburgh including Old Head and Carrowmore

Cycle Routes - Louisburgh-read the full story.

Posted: 07/03/2013

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