Things To Do

Friday Night Tapas Slieve Aughty Galway

The Three Towers Eco House & Organic Kitchen and Slieve Aughty Centre

Get the gang together for a well earned Social! 

Friday Night Tapas Nights!

Friday’s, November 2018 – April 2019
Enjoy organic tapas, Spanish wine and music from 7 pm.
Booking is essential. Call 090 9745 246 for more info.
Slieve Aughty Centre is a family owned eco-friendly equestrian and activity leisure centre set on 17 acres of rugged Galway land. Guests have miles of trails for walking, cycling, horse riding and exploring nature as well as a stunning location for rejuvenation, relaxation and celebration!
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland.
Discover more about Slieve Aughty Centre Here >>

How To Make Natural Cosmetics – Rosehip Infused Oil

Natural Rosehip Infused Oil

how to make rose hip oil with ecoactiveirelandA beautiful natural facial moisturiser, Rosehip Oil is packed with anti ageing goodness and it costs quite a bit  in the shops. Whilst it is not possible to make rosehip seed oil at home you can make a herbal infused oil that is also rather nice for the skin so why not give it a go yourself at home.

If you fancy trying the infusion oil which is rather lovely then just follow our steps below – If you can wait until November do so as the hips will be softer after the first frosts. (It also makes lovely Christmas Gifts!)
Here’s how to make Rosehip Infused Facial Oil:

  • Quantity: 2 parts oil to 1 part rosehips
  • Collect rosehips (preferably after the first frosts) and trim any excess flower head remains/leaves.
  • Put them in an ovenproof bowl and give them a good bashing to break them open.
  • Add natural almond oil ( I get mine in ‘Mrs B’s Healthy Options’ health shop Gorey for around 3 quid)
  • Leave in the oven at its lowest temperature (eg 50 degrees)  for 4 – 8 hours to infuse.
    Note – I left mine overnight at the absolute min temperature that my oven offered last time I made this and it was fine – however today I have lot’s of time until the oven is in use again so I will be leaving it in for about 5 hours. 
  • Strain through muslin into a large jug or bowl and allow to cool.
  • When cooled add vitamin E oil (2-3 capsules) if you like for extra nourishment (again available at your local health store) and / or 5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil if you wish.This is great facial oil best used sparingly – once a fortnight for example. Simply dab a few drops onto face and massage lightly. 

MWAH! Beautiful! 
If you fancy trying out actual rosehip seed oil have a look at this video to see just what to expect! (It’s rather industrial) 
We recommend The Herbal Hub’s Online Courses if you want to learn about using local wild plants as herbal medicines and nutritious wild foods. Check them out here >>

 
 

Activity breaks in Ireland

Family Fun, Activities and EcoTourism at Slieve Aughty Centre, Loughrea, Co Galway

Mixed Metals WorkshopSlieve Aughty Centre (which comprises also of the fabulous Three Towers Eco House and Restaurant)  has a great range of events and activities coming up over the next few months including:

Pizza Party Fridays Are Back!

Every Friday evening at 7pm enjoy a delicious organic pizza with your choice of toppings, fired up in our clay oven.  €5 per child and €10 for adults.  Book Now.
our-famous-pizza-parties
  For more information on any of the above contact 
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway
+353 (0) 90 974 5246 www.slieveaughtycentre.com
Facebook: slieveaughtyequestrianandactivitycentre

Walking Tours and Holidays at Top Of The Rock

2016 Walking Tours in West Cork

Top Of The Rock Walking Tours (and pod park) have a number of interesting walks taking place throughout 2016 including:

St Finbarrs PathSt Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk Easter Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March 2016.
Leaving aside the spiritual benefits for a moment, this walk is a truly magnificient journey which goes “up and over” three mountain systems and four valleys, namely the Ilen, Mealagh, Ouvane and Lee valley basins.
Walking Breaks West CorkSheeps Head and St Finbarr’s Walking week 15th-20th May 2016:
A four day walking tour from the SHEEPS HEAD lighthouse to St Finbarr’s hermitage at GOUGANE BARRA, with five nights’ accommodation at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc and Walking Centre.

Poets people and placesPoets people and places walking week 19th-24th June

A walking tour with Richard Whyte who has a huge love of poetry and all things to do with nature. As one walks with Richard he will pull just the right piece of poetry out of his top pocket and recite it on the spot.
Walking Holidays Ireland September 2016Walking the Sheep’s Head and St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path for September Walking Week 18th-23rd September
A four day walking tour from the SHEEPS HEAD lighthouse to St Finbarr’s hermitage at GOUGANE BARRA, with five nights’ accommodation at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc and Walking Centre designed to give you a taste for Irish life and landscape.
For more information on any of the above or to arrange a custom tailored walking tour visit Topoftherock.ie
 

EcoTourism Volunteer Programme

‘Volun-Tourism’ Program 2016

Crann Og Eco Farm, County Galway, Ireland

Volunteering at a Gold Certified Eco-tourism venue in the West of Ireland…
1: Willow Harvest & Nature School Development: February 17th – March 6th 2016
Two volunteers required to help out on our farm! Couple or friends preferred but not essential.
Willow Harvest (Feb 17th – 28th ): We will be harvesting willow and we have enormous amounts of it! You will learn how to harvest and categorise willow, make fedges (fence/hedge) how to create willow domes and arches and even make your own dream catcher! You will be part of our crew on two “Working with Willowworkshops,February 20th– 21st & 27th – 28th
Nature School Development (Feb 29th – Mar 6th ): This work will be physical labour, some of it quite hard and heavy but rewarding. It will be muddy, is likely to be wet and it could be cold if the weather is unkind. You will be part of the crew to help prepare our new Nature Schooling site. This will involve the creation of a walkway through a small bog as well as clearing vegetation and setting up of Nature Schooling facilities such as low level climbing poles, low ropes, swings and slackline.
2: Organic Gardening & General Duties Volunteer(s): March 14th – April 4th (~ 3 weeks), April 12th – May 2nd (~ 3 weeks), May 10th – end of 31st October (you could stay several months but we require a minimum stay of one month at least!)
We are looking for general duties volunteer(s) to help our gardener with the organic/permaculture garden and general garden maintenance. In addition there will be other duties like farm work, cooking, preparing accommodation for tourists and general cleaning…………………just like the rest of us!
3: Organic Eco-Build Sauna: October 3rd – 24th (3 weeks)
We need one, possibly two volunteers for an eco, upscale-recycle build of an organic, rustic style sauna! We will be using pallets and tree poles, and natural materials like clay-straw for insulation and natural rendering. We aim to create an organic structure (think Lord of the Rings) with a reciprocal rafter roof structure and a turf or ‘living’ roof finish. You will be part of the crew for preparation of the build and assist us in delivering two weekend workshops during which we will complete the build!
Experience in natural building, general construction and knowledge of tools is highly beneficial! You will work hard, get your hands dirty and might get wet (it’s Ireland after all…)!
You Are…

  • Hard worker, preferably quiet, self-sufficient, non-drinker and non-smoker.
  • Self-motivated & able to work alone & in a team & be comfortable taking instructions & able to execute them well!

How to Apply…

  • Visit our website Voluntourism page, read all the detail about what we expect of you, what we give in exchange and our FAQ’s. Then email us directly at ecostayireland@gmail.com or telephone manager Paul on086 276 0680.

 

Chill Out This Autumn

Chilled Out Seasonal Events This Autumn

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours, the feeling of settling down for the winter and the slowing down of everything.
This does not mean an end to activities though as I love to take this reflective time to create and learn. With this in mind there are some lovely events coming up that may be of interest.
Autumn

Seaweed Cookery Demo with Marie Power

On Wednesday, the 14th of October at 8pm Marie Power, the Sea Gardener, will be giving a cookery demonstration and talk on the benefits of seaweed at Brownes Farmhouse Dungarvan. In response to requests from seaweed enthusiasts, she has developed a range of innovative sweet & savoury foods using seaweed, under The Sea Gardener label.
These will be available on the night!
More Details Here >>

Natural Cosmetic Making Workshops:

Vivienne Campbell is a much sought after herbalist who gives workshops on the uses of natural ingredients for cosmetics and wellbeing. She is holding two natural cosmetic making workshops this November, one in Gorey Co Wexford on 7th and one in Ennis Co Clare on the 1st November. These make great personal Christmas gifts too!
More Details Here >>

Natural Soap Making Workshop

I have a friend who makes her own soap and swears that it is addictive!  Nature lover & Holistic practitioner Angela Healy of Willow Cottage at Wells House is giving a one day soap making workshop on November 8th where you can learn how to make your own 100% natural moisturising coconut and olive oil soaps using the traditional cold process method.
More Details Here >>
sloes

Incidentally it’s also the time of year to make sloe gin and elderberry liquors... great gifts at any time of the year! Yum!

Here’s a great video on how to make Rose Hip Oil for your face too:

 
 

Mournes, Carlingford and Mour

We Love The Mournes!

Last Monday myself and my partner headed up North to visit The Mournes. Whilst we had originally planned to experience the walks and trails we had to cut our visit short.
Jennifer of eastcoastadventure.comWe had arranged to meet Jennifer Cumming of East Coast Adventure at Warrenpoint along the shores of Carlingford Lough. This was my first time to visit the area and as we arrived there was a large group of seriously excited TY students piling off a coach to begin a sea kayaking activity.
Jennifer had arranged to give us a tour around the various activities on offer at East Coast Adventure and so we set off.
mountainbikingEast Coast Adventure offer a range of outdoor activities for kids, teens, adults and groups with accommodation, camping, glamping, customised activities and more with trained friendly staff all along the shores of the very beautiful Carlingford Lough. The scenery is breathtaking and the facilities are second to none. There is so much on offer at East Coast Adventure that it actually took us 3 hours just to have a tour! Mind you we did get along like a house on fire and yapped away for ages – hard not to with such a friendly crew 🙂
mountain viewThe Mourne mountains themselves are a magnificant backdrop to the lough and one that I shall have to get my walking boots out for the next visit, hopefully fitting in a visit to The Mourne Lodge who cater specifically for walkers and hikers as well as nature enthusiasts and we look forward to meeting Mairead and the gang!
award winning breakfast at carlingford houseWe spent the night in Carlingford House B&B which offers  beautiful spacious rooms with comfy beds and an award winning breakfast in the morning. We weren’t disappointed. Peter and Irene were so welcoming and after being shown to our room we headed down for a bite to eat in the local village.
Carlingford of course is home to the world famous Carlingford Oyster Company and yes, I hang my head in shame that I simply forgot to order them! I will most definitely be back for these beauties.
Meeting Barra at the BBCOn Tuesday we headed to Belfast to meet with BBCNI Weatherman legend Barra Best for lunch – he of the flame hair like myself #Redheads 😉
Barra had some great suggestions for us to include on our next tour including the gobbins cliff walk  which looks really fun.
love mourneAll in all we simply HAVE to get back to the Mournes, we only got to see the tip of the iceberg and it really is so much MOUR(ne) than that!
Thanks again to Martin Carey and Mandy McAvoy of MourneLive.com for the invite.
Useful Sites for Visiting the Mournes and Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula are listed below:

In the words of Mr Schwarzenegger.. “I’ll Be Back” 

  [nggallery id=65]

Eco Trip Kindly Sponsored By

Ferrybank Motors Wexford Sponsor Eco Tour Ireland

Learn About Wild Food, Foraging and More

Wild Food Summer School 2015 #WFSS15

Blackstairs Ecotrails are holding their second Wild Food Summer School this September – 11,12 & 13th at the lovely ‘Old Rectory in Killedmond, Carlow.

They have added a number of new events and made it a much more family friendly event this year with a brilliant line up for kids on the Saturday and for all you foodies out there!
he-Forager-Handbook-Edible-BritainThere’ll be the chance to forage with  Miles Irving Author of the Forager’s Handbook – The Bible for foragers, on Friday at 11.20am, cheese making workshops, use of herbs and wild foods in cooking workshops, artisan food stalls, as well as GIY talks and Wild food & Craft Beer pairings!
For more information or to book your place visit  www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/wild-food-summer-school/
Tickets cost €60 (Friday only), €80 (Saturday only), €60 (Sunday only) or €190 for the full weekend. 

Wild Food Summer School 2015

More foraging, more great speakers, films, music,  Artisan Food stalls, Cheese making and  events for children. We also have a retrofitted ambulance  giving workshops on Up Cycling, Composting etc., facilitated by the Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI)
wildfood-summer-school

Waterford Harvest Festival 2015

Harvesting the sea in Waterford

Festival forager shines the spotlight on seaweed’s benefits

Marie Power, aka The Sea Gardener, is a Waterford-based seaweed forager, educator, food producer and author of a cookbook and foraging guide called “The Sea Garden.”
The Sea Gardener launched a range of healthy protein snack bars in 2014, and soon after, a savoury caponata, all containing her own special blend of seaweeds. These innovative and tasty foods are broadening the appeal of seaweeds. The products were very well received and are now stocked in stores in Waterford, Cork, Wexford, Kilkenny and Dublin.
Marie has always been interested in wildlife and she now combines her passion for food and ecology in The Sea Gardener business. “We are interested in the source of our food and in making the link between the origin and consumption of food as short and simple as possible.”
The Waterford Harvest Festival takes place from September 11th to 13th and Marie will be educating the public about the benefits of seaweed and showcasing her latest products as part of the Waterford Chamber Skillnet Big Taste tent in the city centre.
Marie Power with helpers    Image: Patrick Browne
Image: Patrick Browne
Marie Power, aka The Sea Gardener, foraging with helpers Katie and Harry Earl on Garrarus beach near Tramore in Co. Waterford. Marie’s book and seaweed products will be available for sale during the Waterford Harvest Festival, which runs from September 11th to 13th. www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie

Foraging, Cookups and Family Fun

Eco Events Coming Up

Wild Food Summer School 2015

wildfood-summer-schoolThe second Wild Food Summer School will be held on September 11th,12 & 13th 2015 at the Old Rectory, Killedmond, Borris, Co. Carlow in the Blackstairs Ecotrails Eco Centre. Enjoy three days of foraging, debate, cook ups, great talks, demonstrations,Soap Box Talks,a selection of workshops and lots of stalls showcasing local artisan food.
Early booking advised – For more details click here >>

Guided heritage walk with a taste of shellfish along the Wild Atlantic Way at Strandhill in Sligo.

taste of sligo shellfish walkExperience a guided tour of an ancient shell midden site on stunning Culleenamore Strand with Auriel Robinson of Seatrails, where you will be greeted by Tra Ban Restaurant’s Head chef Mostafa Dadowah and proprietor Anthony Gray who will amaze you with an outdoor feast of fresh mussels cooked on an open fire.
July 26th – Pre booking essential!
For more details click here >>

Family Fun Eco Farm August Bank Holiday Weekend

family fun at crann og eco farm Enjoy a weekend of fun outdoor activities in the fabulous family friendly Crann Og Eco Farm – camp onsite or call for accommodation options.
Activities include Outdoor games in sand arena, Forest school & bushcraft, Nature arts, Campfire cooking , Slackline, Self defence, Sword fighting, Bellydancing ,Yoga for young and old, Farm yard activities, Pond dipping , Veg garden exploration, Face painting, Fancy dressing &  Campfire with storytelling, drumming, singing and much more! Booking essential – For more details click here >>

Weekend in the Hills Celt Workshop

celt workshopWeekend in the Hills is an exciting CELT (Centre for Environmental Learning and Teaching)2 day traditional skills workshop. Choose from basket weaving, long bow making, natural building, herbal remedies and lots more, including special workshops for children. September 26th and 27th 2015. For more details click here >>

KEEP UPDATED ON OUR EVENTS AT WWW.ECOACTIVETOURISM.COM