Know before you go
Parking informationPark on Main street, Milford
Grazing animalsYes, from May - December
Medium terrain. Trail: 0.85 miles. Stone path.
Access to nature reserve via Old Mill Avenue. Follow the small pedestrian path, between houses at the end of the avenue, to access the nature reserve. As this is a residential area, we suggest parking in Milford village and walking down to Old Mill Avenue.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times.
Best time to visitMay to September
About the reserve
Milford Cutting includes the species-rich grassland banks of the former Castleblaney, Keady and Armagh Railway, and a woodland, which runs along part of the River Callan in Co Armagh.
A summer visit is essential to see the spectacular display of orchids. Common twayblade, fragrant, common spotted and the rare marsh helleborine, which is only found at only a few sites in Northern Ireland, paint the reserve with shades of green, pink and purple.
The wealth of wildflowers and location of the cutting, nestled between rolling drumlins, attracts a wide array of butterflies – up to 18 species to date – including small copper, peacock and ringlet.
There is, as you’d expect, a vibrant bird life in summer, including willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap bursting into song. The long corridor is the perfect hunting ground for buzzards and sparrowhawks, and on the nearby river, you might well see a kingfisher speeding past.
Hidden with the woodland are several rare Irish whitebeam trees – the largest colony of this species in Northern Ireland. The trees bloom with white flowers in May and globular red fruits in September.
At Milford Cutting, we mow the grassland banks to ensure the survival of the orchids and other flowering plants, which in turn supports a host of insects and birds.