The Slieve Bloom Mountains Nature Reserve is, at over 2,300 hectares, Ireland’s largest state-owned Nature Reserve. Whilst rather modest in height (Arderin is the highest point at 526 metres), the Slieve Bloom Mountains afford some of the best views of the country in all directions.
It was established in 1985, so that it could be managed in such a way as to ensure the conservation of the mountain blanket bog ecosystem. In addition, the Nature Reserve is designated a Ramsar Wetland Site and a Council of Europe Biogenetic Reserve. Much of the greater upland area has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The primary interest of the SAC is mountain blanket bog. The Slieve Bloom Mountains are also designated a Special Protection Area (SPA), of special conservation interest for the hen harrier, a rare bird of prey.