Winter in Ireland still presents lots of great opportunities to go hiking, but be careful!
January and February this year were mild but brought lots of high winds. So do check the conditions and forecast before walking in forested areas and I suggest take the safe option – don’t, if there is any doubt.
Conifers generally seem to be quite shallow-rooted and easily blown down. Tall conifers in densely forested areas also seem to take a lot of other trees with them when they go over. So it’s a very dangerous place to be in strong winds.
Large deciduous trees like oak, beech, etc. have much deeper root systems which helps them withstand high winds. However their particular vulnerability is their very large branches, which can succumb to high winds. These big branches can weigh tons and a hiker would likely suffer serious injury or worse if hit by a falling branch.
So best stay away from forested areas in high winds!
But the Sunday morning I picked, two days after the high winds, was fabulous! It was also an opportunity to see the power of nature first hand!