News 2015

Title: Fruitful Environmental Workshop in Glengarriff
Type: 
Date: 22/08/2015
System Date: 22/08/2015

Have you heard the astonishing migration story of the painted lady butterfly, or did you know that the small fir clubmoss plants we see on the hills once grew as trees and formed much of the world’s coal deposits? 

On Saturday 22nd August representatives from 12 Mountaineering Ireland clubs in the south west, and the Rural Recreation Officer from west Cork, convened for a Mountaineering Ireland Environmental Workshop in the Glengarriff area. During the morning the group discussed Mountaineering Ireland’s work on access and conservation matters, the afternoon was spent outdoors exploring the hills surrounding Barley Lake. The event, which was timed to coincide with Heritage Week, became a celebration of the biodiversity to be found in Ireland’s upland areas.

The workshop was led by Mike Maunsell, the new Chair of Mountaineering Ireland’s Access & Conservation Committee, who lectures in Conservation & Biodiversity Management, and Helen Lawless, Mountaineering Ireland’s Hillwalking, Access & Conservation Officer.

In addition to learning about the geological processes that shaped the landscape around Barley Lake the group identified a large number of plant species, and had sightings of butterflies, birds, frogs, as well as a close-up encounter with a lizard. All members of the group contributed to the discussions during the outing which extended to cover topics such as trail development, windfarms and access issues.

The workshop concluded with each participant committing to one action arising from the day. Most people pledged to share environmental knowledge with other club members, on hikes or through club websites; others promised to engage with landowners in the uplands when suitable opportunities arise.

The workshop served to strengthen Mountaineering Ireland’s connection with clubs in the area, it also provided an enjoyable occasion for networking between clubs, and it should lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the mountain environment amongst members in the south west.

There are places remaining on two further Environmental Workshops this autumn:

Getting to Know Red Grouse, Saturday 19th September, Boleybrack, Co. Leitrim

From Rocks to Ridges, Friday evening 9th & Saturday 10th October, Gartan OEC, Co. Donegal

To enable the maximum number of clubs to benefit from these training opportunities, places are limited to one member per club, with preference is given to Club Environmental Officers who haven’t already participated in an Environmental Workshop in 2015.

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