LAST year’s Ellen Hutchins Festival has won the Heritage Council’s Hidden Heritage Award.
The festival, held in Bantry in August 2015, celebrated Ireland’s first female botanist during the year which marked the 200th anniversary year of her death. Last week, the three festival organisers Clare Heardman (National Parks & Wildlife Service), Angela O’Donovan (Bantry Historical Society) and Madeline Hutchins (Ellen’s great-great-grand niece) were presented with the award in Kilkenny, at the Heritage Council offices.
The Hidden Heritage Award seeks to ‘shine a light on Ireland’s hidden heritage’ and is open to event organisers who successfully explored lesser known aspects of Ireland’s heritage during National Heritage Week.’
Ellen Hutchins, born in 1785 in Ballylickey, was botanising from 1805 to 1813 and made many discoveries of new plants and contributed significantly to the understanding of seaweeds, lichens and mosses. She was also an accomplished botanical artist, producing exquisitely detailed watercolour drawings to share with fellow botanists. Her botany studies were cut short by illness and she died aged 29.
This August, in Heritage Week from August 20th-28th, there is once again an invite to walk in the footsteps of Ellen Hutchins, The events on offer reflect Ellen’s interests in botany and botanical art, and a deep love and understanding of nature and place. There will be a seaweed event on Whiddy Island, a woodland walk in Glengarriff, a botanical art demonstration, a pop up exhibition of some of Ellen’s letters and books, an illustrated talk and panel discussion, a children’s nature art event, an exhibition trail with information about her life and work, and prints of her seaweed drawings, a one day botanical art workshop and a two-day lichen foray.
The full programme for the Ellen Hutchins Festival 2016 is now on www.ellenhutchins.com.