The Garden of Ireland

On Monday of this week, I was lucky enough to find myself in Wicklow – a rare trip across the country to The Garden of Ireland.

 

U-nail studded railway sleeper boardwalk at The Wicklow Gap

U-nail studded railway sleeper boardwalk at The Wicklow Gap

Over the Wicklow Gap I went, down through Laragh, with its wonderful broadleaf and well-spaced conifer forests and on towards Glenealy, to the beautiful and serene organic farm at Carraig Dúlra.

On their plot up on the hill, with impressive Red Kites soaring overhead, Mike and Suzie Cahn deliver organic farming training, specialising in how to grow fruit and vegetables. Indeed, my friend Tina Pommer, from Leitrim, will be giving a talk and walk on mushrooms over there sometime this coming autumn.

 

Coniferous forest with good ground vegetation at Laragh

Coniferous forest with good ground vegetation at Laragh

I was there to deliver an awareness course in Leave No Trace. I had a lovely day and would really recommend getting up to Carraig Dúlra, taking a practical, educational and, above all, interesting course in the outdoors of whichever type you prefer yourself. Mike and Suzie are excellent hosts, so you’ll have a great day.

 

 

 

Suzie talks about vegetable growing, Carraig Dúlra, Glenealy

Suzie talks about vegetable growing, Carraig Dúlra, Glenealy

Visit Carraig Dúlra’s website here.

Visit Leave No Trace Ireland here.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I am thrilled to see there are more and more reports of the wonderful Great Spotted Woodpecker in Ireland. In the last week, there have been sightings in Counties Wicklow (8), Dublin (2) and Down (1). Even last summer, there was a reported sighting as far west as Mayo.

I have been lucky enough to see this fabulous bird over the last number of years in far Eastern Poland, on the walking and nature watching trips I lead over there from Ireland. I’d love to get to see one over here.

We were all brought up watching Woody Woodpecker, but to see and hear the little guy actually doing his drumming ‘live’ is just brilliant.

See this article from The Examiner late last year.

See photos from this week from Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, copywrite Dick Coombes, here.

Kippure

What a legend of a place Kippure Estate is.

I was down there yesterday for some training. Funnily, I have often been up the road and over the Sally Gap, but never noticed the place. When I lived in Tinahely as a young lad, our father used to drive us all over the place at the weekend. More recently, I have walked Djouce beyond.

On the way up there yesterday morning, I stopped for a sec and out pops a lovely deer from the conifer trees. There are magnificent Scots Pines on the boggy uplands, across the young River Liffey below the Centre. I wonder will they ever have children. They all look to be the same age, suggesting the young are not able to get a grip and survive. The older trees stand like lone sentinels over the wonderful Wicklow Mountains.

Anyway, check it out some time. www.kippure.com