On the west coast of Ireland, Atlantic waves have over millennia shaped our coastline creating rocky shores, beaches and towering cliffs.
A couple of weeks ago we visited Balla Town Park. The park, managed by the local community, consists of a series of walks, we choose the fairy village trail.
The town was left land by a local landlord. In 2015, the community applied for a Neighbourwood scheme. An area of 35 acres of old estate wood was cleared of encroaching laurel and planted with 3000 young deciduous trees. These new trees, along with the existing old trees, now make a wonderful diverse woodland. The old trees include oak, beech and horse chestnut trees.
Well laid paths, benches, picnic table, tree trail and interpretation boards all add to the visitors experience. The fairy village including some lovely sculptured way markers, are a great addition particularly for the younger visitors. They are a great incentive for encouraging young ones to go for walks and explore. It is hoped to install a bird hide in the near future. Birds boxes and bats boxes have been erected and there are plenty brash piles for wildlife too.
The Neighbourwood scheme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. It aims to encourage communities to woodlands as a local community amenities.
Balla Town Park is a wonderful example of what can be done to create a great resource of local people and visitors.
Who lives behind those secret little fairy doors?
Winter light reflected on a lake has a certain magically quality.
That low winter sun, the calm water, I could take photographs all day.
Trying to capture it perfectly – which of course is impossible.