Tireragan

The Tireragan estate is located at the Southwest tip of the Ross of Mull, some four kilometres south-east from the village of Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull. The estate comprises a total of 625 hectares of wild rugged land. The entire southern boundary is formed by the Atlantic Ocean. To the north of Tireragan the land is owned by Fidden Farm, to the east by Ardalanish Farm and to the west by Knockvologan Farm.

Tireragan is a re-wilding area and the one trail leading to Traigh-Gheal beach can be difficult to walk and hard to distinguish at times. Mobile signal is very weak thus cannot be relied on in case of emergency. Tireragan (land of angry waves) is not for the faint-hearted.

 

From a landscape perspective the estate is unusually remote and difficult to access even by the standards of the Isle of Mull. Few places on the island are so far distant in all directions from a surfaced road. The exceptionally rocky coastline, wooded ravines and extensive mires with few obvious artifacts add greatly to the sense of wilderness.

The Ross of Mull granite, a Devonian intrusion some 400 million years old, underlies the entire estate. Although superficially rather a simple structure, a closer examination reveals a more complex situation. The granite was intruded into the surrounding Moine Schists and throughout Tireragan, xenoliths of varying sizes are encountered. These remains of Moine Schist, only partially digested by the ascending granite, are more calcareous than the surrounding granite and often give rise to a different flora and fauna.

Elevations range from sea level to a maximum of 104 metres at Beinn Cholarich. The estate contains much broken terrain but is dominated by three glens running parallel in a northwest – southeast direction approximately 1 kilometre apart.
The resulting soils are relatively low in nutrition, are peat based and are relatively deep in the valley basins but thin and punctured by extruding rock on the hills. The soils are defined as mainly peaty gleys, peat and peaty rankers, with some humic gleys and blanket peat.

The vegetation of Tireragan is dominated by bog, heath and woodland. The patches of woodland represent the remnants of the natural ancient woodland with downy birch, sessile oak, willow and rowan the principal species, though hazel and aspen are also present in significant numbers. Many of the gullies in which the woodland has survived are of particular importance for the lower plants growing on and under the trees. The heath is a mixture of dry and wet heath depending on the topography. The drier heath is chiefly heather and bearberry and the wetter heath ling and purple moor grass. The bog is dominated by mosses, cotton grass and deer sedge. Interspersed with the heath and bog are patches of scrub comprising mainly willow, downy birch and bog myrtle. All the heath ground is showing signs of tree regeneration as well as improved growth of the heathers and bog myrtle.

In 2017 we’ve executed a fence survey in order to localize damage leading to undesired deer traffic into Tireragan.
In 2018 the fence will be fixed and the deer population will be culled back to sustainable numbers.

Future vision
In spring 2018 we joined the Tireragan board of directors and will help the development of the re-wilding of the area.
Apart from the more down to earth tasks like mending fences, monitoring wildlife and maintaining the trail, we will be exploring the potential of art and literature within this framework.