Wander through lush woodlands and wetlands of this tranquil riverside haven where wildfoul nest amoung the reeds and riverbanks.
The Quoile Pondage National Nature Reserve is situated just outside Downpatrick on either side of the Quoile River. In an atmosphere reflecting the country cottage which stood here over 100 years ago, seasonal displays feature the unique nature of the Quoile Pondage and other nature reserves in County Down.
The Quoile's rich mosaic of habitats is regulated by the daily fluctuations in water levels. Marsh plants grow alond the river fringes, with reedbeds, rushy grassland and willow scrub. Freshwater habitats are rich in insect life, providing food for fishsuch as rudd and eels which, in turn, feed grey herons, cormorants and grebes.
Quoile Caste is believed to have been built around 1600 and to have been assoicated with the West family. It has three floors below the attic and good barrel vaulting which wicker centering on the ground floor. Built on estuarine mud, the south-east angle eventually collapsed but has been conserved in its present state since the 1980's.