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Star-gazing, whale-watching and nature trails all for Heritage Week

August 11th, 2017 11:32 AM

By Southern Star Team

Galley Head: a whale-watching event has been organised at the lighthouse near Clonakilty, along with an open day. (Photo: George Karbus)

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BY BRIAN MOORE


WEST CORK is once again at the forefront when it comes to celebrating Heritage Week 2017 which runs from August 19th to 27th.

Over 150 events are planned across the county and the theme this year – ‘It's in your Nature' – is all about getting out and enjoying the natural heritage on our doorsteps.

And with this in mind, groups from Bandon to Bere Island, are getting ready to showcase the many wonders that are available in West Cork to locals and visitors alike.

For example, you can enjoy a spot of moon gazing with the Cork Astronomy Club on Bere Island, or head for the Ellen Hutchins Festival in Bantry to discover the amazing legacy left for future generations by Ireland's premier botanist.

Nature walks, guided tours of the coastline, whale watching, open days at lighthouses and castles, Heritage Week 2017 has something for everyone.

‘Cork has been excelling in Heritage Week activities in recent years,' Conor Nelligan, heritage officer at Cork County Council told The Southern Star. ‘Over 150 events have been organised in close to 60 different locations across the county, and the majority of these are free and suitable for all the family.'

In Skibbereen there will be a series of events exploring the ‘rebel' town's fenian history, while in Dunmanway you can learn all you need to know about a ‘Sile na Gig'.

For those looking to enjoy a day out exploring the flora and fauna of West Cork, you can head for Rosscarbery for a guided walk, or perhaps a very special historical treasure hunt for children in Clonakilty.

There will be wildlife workshops for children at Charles Fort in Kinsale, or how about a historical tour of the Seven Heads or at Lough Hyne near Skibbereen?

For those interested in the abundant possibilities when it comes to good food available from the hedgerows in West Cork, you can visit Bere Island for a masterclass in blackberry picking and jam-making or learn how to keep your own bees and harvest your own honey.

There will be a special whale watching event, organised by the Irish Whale and Dolphin group, at Galley Head near Clonakilty, and a chance to see for yourself what life for a lighthouse keeper and his family was like 100 years ago, at the open day at the Galley Head lighthouse. 

There will be a guided tour of Castledonovan in Drimoleague and a World War I military walk on Bere Island.

These are just a sample of the events planned for West Cork and heritage officer Conor Nelligan is confident that Heritage Week 2017 will, once again, be a week full of fun and discovery. ‘Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council and is part of the wider European Heritage Days programme, which takes place from Saturday August 19th to Sunday August 27th,' Conor said. 

Visit www.heritageweek.ie for updates/amendments to events, and the public will also find  Heritage Week brochures available from their public libraries and other outlets across the county.

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