The heaths and heathers you see today are only a thin cover, clothing the debris of glaciers long ago. Around 10,000 years ago, retreating ice sheets left behind vast amounts of sands and gravels over much of Northern Ireland. At Boorin, these glacial deposits take the form of small pointed hill. Over time, the areas in between have become filled with either peat bog or small loughs known as kettle-hole lakes.
In summer, the air above is filled with the song of skylarks and a frequent sight on a calm day is a family of buzzards circling lazily over the surrounding countryside. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a covey of Red Grouse as it erupts from the heather. At the north end of the reserve, on a steep slope overlooking Gortin, is an area of mature Oak-Birch woodland. The local clean moist air, together with the micro-climate in the wood has helped the establishment of a rich variety of mosses and lichens on the tree trunks. (source DOE NI)