Friday, 23 March 2007


(Click on the title for a link to Sonaitre)

We’re back from our annual get away from it all holiday. Thankfully we only went as far as Church Hill, near Letterkenny for our outdoor adventure. Camping expeditions can be really good fun if the weather holds out, but after 24 hours of rain we decided to wring ourselves out and beat a hasty retreat back home. On our return we found that our two friends, Paul and Deb had been working wonders in the short time we were away. We were only away for 24 hours and in that time they managed to tidy the house beyond recognition, reclaim the vegetable patch, planted a small woodland out the back and created a decent display for the front. Thanks to them both for all their work, particularly for writing the column last week. Their humorous informative article made a change from my usual ramblings. Cheers-we’ll have to go away more often.

Sonairte- The National Ecology Centre
I paid a visit to Sonairte in Co Meath on my way back from the Kildare growers show a couple of weeks ago. The centre was set up in the late 80’s to promote environmental awareness. At the centre you can experience ecology in action. There is a wide range of attractions designed to appeal to all types of interests and ages.

Organic garden.
The walled garden demonstrates how produce can be grown without the use of chemicals. They have rare old apple varieties a large herb garden and wildlife area.

Riverside Nature Trail.
The nature trail offers a tranquil riverside walk, which is rich in plants and wildlife. There is an opportunity to do a spot of bird watching on the Nanny estuary.

The Renewable Energy Courtyard.
Here you can see how the forces of nature can be used to produce safe, clean energy. There are solar, wind and waterpower displays together with interesting information and interactive exhibits to help understand how these systems work.

The Adventure Playground.
This is for people aged 6 to 16; it includes rope bridges, climbing towers and swings to provide hours of fun.

Toddlers Play Area.
For younger children, this area is in view of the Coffee Shop; it includes swings, slides and a climbing frame.

Lecture Hall.
This building hosts a variety of courses on environmental issues.

The centre also sells its home grown organic vegetables and herbs and a gift shop sells recycled glassware, pottery, candles and soaps.

I visited the centre on a Saturday and found it very quiet, they have a lot of school trips in the week and I was told that more staff work then too. So if you pay them a visit and like a bit of action it may be more fun on a weekday


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