The important thing about our events is that they are real, down to earth, practical opportunities to learn aspects of sustainable living in a wonderful atmosphere of sharing ideas, tasks, culture and fun - all taking place in the setting of sustainably managed native oak woodland by the shores of Lough Derg on the Shannon waterway.
Local craftspersons are employed to teach skills such as wood carving, coppersmithing, furniture making, basketry, herb lore, blacksmithing, silversmithing, dry-stone walling and felt making. They use locally sourced materials - either natural or recycled - and there is plenty of one-to-one tuition to help beginners as well as improvers. There is usually an opportunity to learn something about local nature and biodiversity and woodland owner Del Harding is always happy to explain his ways of sustainable eco-system management to anyone interested. Also you can find out about our native tree nursery and some of the best local walks from trained guides Bob, Saul or Andrew. Musicians should bring their instruments and will be welcome to join in the session around the campfire on Saturday and Sunday evenings - which always includes local Irish traditional music and singing.
Course fees go towards local education and training programmes in environmental conservation and sustainable living. Accommodation is locally owned and selected for using good environmental practices such as recycling, composting and use of eco-friendly cleaning materials and we use only locally sourced materials, organic produce and transport.
As a company, we use recycled paper and energy-saving electrical appliances in our office and we support local projects such as Tuamgraney Community Wildlife Park, Scariff Community Garden, Irish Seedsavers Association (a registered charity) and Irish Coppice Association (non-profit, non-governmental woodland skills organisation). All visitors receive a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct.
Visitors are encouraged to travel by train, bus and car-share. Holiday information provided includes details of ferry, train, bus schedules. We also ask visitors to let us know if they would be willing to share the cost of local travel with other visitors so that we can hire a minibus or people carrier to move them around locally. We promote local businesses and encourage visitors to use local restaurants, shops, cinema, pubs, entertainment so that their spending is going into the local community.
We make a difference by encouraging and promoting sustainable living and nature conservation both locally and globally. We add a new dimension to eco-tourism by combining hands-on learning experience with training in ecology provided by knowledgeable local guides. The whole experience is beneficial to both the visitor and the local community and environment.
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