Tipperary naturalists urged to take a walk on the wide side in Cloughjordan

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Tipperary naturalists urged to take a walk on the wide side in Cloughjordan

Cloughjordan's Biodiversity Week has plenty to offer nature lovers

Nature lovers will get the chance to to get up close and personal with nature at this year's Biodiversity Week which kicks off in Cloughjordan this weekend.

The week of mostly free events, is being organised by Cloughjordan Naturalists Field Club, with the Cloughjordan Community Development Committee,  and will give people the opportunity to explore and enjoy local natural heritage, from woodlands and bogs, to hedgerows and local history.

The festival will have a varied and comprehensive programme of offerings, with approximately 20 events taking place. The theme for this year’s festival is Finding Nature in the Everyday.

Starting this Saturday, May 19, there will be an Eco-therapy walk in Knockanacree Woodlands with Jennifer Banaghan at 2.30pm. Jennifer will lead participants in a 90-minute reflective nature walk along the trails in the woodlands. The is a cost of €5.

On Sunday, National Famine Commemoration Day, there will be gathering at Cloughjordan Fever Hospital site in the eco-neighbourhood at 3pm. Nature, food and famine are inextricably linked in our own history and for many in the world today.

The evening will see a very special eco-service on the Village Green, Main Street, at 7pm. This ecumenical gathering will involve the Catholic, Church of Ireland and Methodist communities of Cloughjordan and will involve a simple ceremony of reflection and reading. There will also be a reflection from Laudato Si.

On Monday, local naturalist Eileen MacGrath will lead a guided walk at Woodfield Bog to the south of Cloughjordan at 2pm.

A keen observer of nature, Eileen has been monitoring and recording butterflies for many years and recently had an exhibition of her photographs on display in the Thomas MacDonagh Museum.

Later in the afternoon, afternoon, there will be a special Nature in Music concert with Ger Wolfe in Middle Country Café, Main Street, at 4pm (Adm. €5).

Ger has released seven albums of original material over the last 20 years. His latest, I Have Been Loved, is, according to Hotpress magazine, “exquisitely performed, arranged and recorded... sublime”.

That evening, there will be a guided Dusk Walk in Knockanacree Community Woodlands at 7.30pm with Dr Alex Copland, senior conservation officer for BirdWatch Ireland.

There are two events on Tuesday, Exploring the Hidden Meadow, a guided wildflower walk with Rachel Vaughan and Brendan Sheehan. Meet, Sopwell Woodlands Lahille entrance at 10.30am.

In the afternoon, author Nigel Quinlan will read in Sheelagh Na Gig, Main Street, at 4pm. Nigel's first novel, The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox, is a young adult fantasy, and his second novel, The Cloak of Feathers, published recently, is described as a “magical adventure filled with myth, mischief and misunderstandings”.

Wednesday sees Walking Meditation practice in Knockanacree Woods with Jean Finn. Meet at Knockanacree Woodlands main entrance at 9.30am.

That evening at 7.30pm, Dr Aine Lynch from the National Parks and Wildlife Service will lead a guided walk, Exploring Scohaboy's Cutaway Edge. Meet, Sopwell Woodlands Lahille entrance.

Thursday sees a Qi Kung and Tai Chi practice, followed by a short mindful walk, with Ena Holland at the Labyrinth in the eco-neighbourhood at 12.30am. That evening, there will be a special nature in traditional music and song in the Thomas MacDonagh Museum at 7.30pm.

There is a dawn chorus concert on Saturday at 9am in Dromineer with Cloughjordan's Mellow Tones Female-Voice Choir and Roscrea’s The Rosie Greys.

At 2pm Killian Walz from UCD's AUGUR Project will explore the question, What does Scohaboy Bog and the Amazon Rainforest have in common? and at 8pm, there will be a performance of Mary Ward's Amazing World of Wonder by Tina Claffey and Caroline Conway, featuring members of Cloughjordan Drama Group in Madden`s old garage building in The Crecent at 8pm.

There will be a closing concert on Sunday with The Mellow Tones Female-Voice Choir in the Methodist Chapel, Main Street, at 7pm.