A DRIVING route celebrating the life of West Cork’s Ellen Hutchins, the country’s first female botanist, has just been launched and includes areas that inspired her ground-breaking work.
Described as ‘Bantry to Beara: an exploration of Bantry Bay’s plants, seaweeds, and landscape’ the free Ellen Hutchins Heritage Trail has a leaflet, a website, and an audio guide.
The stops go from Garryvurcha Graveyard in Bantry, where Ellen is buried in an unmarked grave; to some of her favourite plant hunting spots, including Whiddy Island and the beach under Blue Hill by the airstrip. Other stops include her birthplace and home at Ballylickey; Snave Beach and Coomhola Bridge, with the Coorycommane Loop Walk; Glengarriff Woods, and into the mountains at Priests Leap and Healy Pass.
The leaflet, available from the tourist office, library and other outlets in Bantry, has a map and location codes, as well as information on each stop. This is also available at ellenhutchins.com, with links to the audio guide which can be used with a smartphone.
Funded by the Heritage Council and the Fisheries Local Action Group South, the trail was developed by the Ellen Hutchins Festival and the audio Guide was created in association with Abarta Heritage.