“Come to Leitrim – It could change your life!” says Michael Harding in a beautiful new video launched today showcasing Leitrim as a place to visit, enjoy, explore and experience but also as an invigorating and vibrant place to live and work.
The video was created by Edwina Guckian of Dreoilín Productions along with artists Michael Harding, Eleanor Shanley, Seamus O Rourke and Charlie McGettigan who each share their thoughts and values of what makes this county such a treasure.
“The piece is a very honest, artistic response to our diverse county. Each of us involved are very passionate about our home and promote it across the world wherever we are performing. And it is when we are on the other side of the world we really feel the draw of Leitrim calling us home.” – Edwina Guckian
It’s not until you slow down and take the time to explore it that you really see Leitrim’s hidden treasures. The land, the water, the people, the communities, the towns and villages, the lilt of our language, the music, song and dance, the easy pace of life, the welcome; we tried to capture it all and show the world the wealth of what Leitrim gives us and how lucky we are to live here. What we have is very special. As Seamus O Rourke said, In Leitrim you’re allowed to breathe, and be the better for being yourself.”
“This video articulates the wonderful way of life in Leitrim; in nature, in landscape, in environment and people. It goes hard in hand with sustainable tourism which is one of the most important elements of our economy, supporting local employment, food producers, farmers and the hardworking Leitrim business owners. We want to share the message that Leitrim is a wonderful and safe place to visit, work and live.” – Joe Dolan of The Bush Hotel.
We are calling on the people of Leitrim, near and far and those that have visited us from across the world to share this video on their social media using the hashtag #EnjoyLeitrim
Are you interested in learning about bee friendly flowers you can grow at home, incredible food created from your own produce or taste how incredibly delicious & versatile snails are! Then get along to Bumblebee Flower Farms’ Open Day on the 16th August 2020.
Includes a tour, a talk with Mags, tastings of edible produce created by Eddie Attwell as well as more tastings and talk from Eva and Eoin from Gaelic Escargot. A lovely opportunity to share and meet like-minded folks in beautiful West Cork!
Dine Like A Druid on this Seaweed, Coastal and Hedgerow Wild Food Forage & Feast.
Join The Sea Gardener as we forage for wild food on land and shore and enjoy the foods eaten by the earliest settler’s on the Waterford Coast. Learn how to identify edibles and gather wild food as we forage for seaweed and wild plants to be enjoyed as part of our cook up. We’ll enjoy wild foods such as Blackberries, Haws, Orache, Knotweed, Sea purslane, Sea Beet/Wild mushroom/Hazelnut tarts; Periwinkles, Raw Fraughan and Hazelnut Cake, Haw Jelly, Hedgerow Jam and Wild mushrooms amongst others, all washed down with Yarrow tea, Dandelion Root Coffee, Beech Noyeau, Local Metalman Ale and Elderflower Cordial!
Some people have been asking if their business is suitable to join Eco Active so we thought we’d explain what kind of business can benefit from joining Eco Active…
Hotels Many hotels are consciously improving their sustainable practices and they can share that news on our blogs plus those that hold nature friendly events that can be featured on our listings.
Accommodation Providers Whether it’s a family run BandB or a Country Guesthouse, many accommodation provider are eco friendly or facilitate / run events such as foraging walks, woodland walks, cookups and more.
Green Energy Providers Let our community know what eco friendly alternatives are available and how to go about getting them.
Farmers Markets Pretty much all of our community are interested in healthy food and are always looking to find out where their closest farmers market is being held so adding these dates to the events is a no brainer for your market.
Crafts Our community has many people looking to discover crafts as a hobby or even to simply stroll around a local crafts shop or perhaps a studio having a chat and walking away with a unique gift. Let them know how to find you.
Galleries Again sharing specific exhibitions and events that our community are interested in is easily done through our event listings and social sharing.
Foragers One of the biggest searches and requests we get is of course for foraging workshops and guided forage walks ( this is after all why we began in 2013!) so foragers who join EcoActive benefit greatly either by advertising their events or by being contacted for bespoke / group events.
Unique Workshops There is such a variety of unique and interesting workshops taking place all over the country they are too numerous to name, however, if they include something natural and are a bit of fun they usually go down very well with our community. It could be for sheepskin tanning, beekeeping, organic flower growing, lampshade making… you name it. Get it listed!
Food and Drink Tastings There has been an enormous surge in outdoor tastings and food /table events over the past few years and our community want to know about it in advance so they can plan their mini break – so yes, join Eco Active and let us share it out in advance to gain maximum exposure.
Food Festivals Always popular, food festivals are eagerly attended by our communities, however our eco conscious audience who are eager to travel domestically, do not always know about them until it’s too late – so get involved, get it up on the site so we can share share share!
Seaweed Safaris Being an island gives us such unique access to seaweed and seaweed workshops and events are always popular, from making skincare or cosmetics using seaweed or baking/cooking with seaweed so any events or workshops that encapsulates these do well. Get it up there!
Camping Wild camping or secure camping – both are growing again in popularity so if you run a campsite or are planning a camping event that you think our community might like then get in touch so we can share it.
Outdoor Skills Many of our community have an interest in learning outdoor skills either for their own personal use or for their use in business
Mountaineering / Hiking / Guided Walks Highly popular due to the variety of destinations and slow, medium, fast options all outdoor walks and hikes get a great response from our community so get it on the list!!
Kayaking / Canoeing /Watersports For the water babies among us the thrills of water based activities are impossible to resist – get your classes, courses and events up on our listings!
Adventure Activity Providers Micro adventures are hugely popular and our community are always looking for a new adrenalin rush. Add your events and we’ll make sure they know about them!
Greenways We’re loving the new Greenways that have popped up over the past few years but many of us are unsure how to plan a Greenway Getaway – share your ideas, rest stops and sample itineraries to our audience so they can plan their visit easily.
Electric BikeTrails Electric bike trails offer a relaxing way to see an area and get out in the fresh air, if you rent them or provided guided tours let us know – get it listed!
Alternative Art Classes Art is a wonderful way to appreciate nature and mindful living and as these are both of interest to our community so too are unique or alternative art classes – get in touch – get it listed.
Glamping / Pods / Shepherd Huts Glamping (Glam Camping) is still popular with many of our community as a luxe form of camping with eco pods and shepherd huts equally enticing – let us know about your facilities and share your offers and events on our listings.
Alternative Tourism Providers Got a unique tourist offering? From Seanchaí’s to Periwinkle picking to Kite festivals, the more unique the better – let our community know about your business – get it listed…
Yoga / Wellness / Retreats Whether its a regular class, one off workshop or retreat our community are interested. Let them know about it by getting it listed – we will do the rest 🙂
Educational Workshops / OECs Children are the future – getting them educated about sustainability, self sufficiency and how to have as little impact on nature as possible is always encouraged. Sometimes however, us adults need to learn too so all Green educational workshops and events are welcome.
Rural Communities We know how difficult it can be to run a business in rural areas as well as socialising so sharing related events such as local markets, shows, courses etc on our listings is a great way to reach more people.
Farmers Yes farmers! Our community want to buy directly from you but how do they do that if they don’t know you? Let us know – Add it to our listings!
Bird watching One of natures’ finest attractions – birds. Bird watching clubs that hold events or educational workshops should post them here as our community are great bird lovers.
Sailing / Fishing Getting off land is a welcome escape and low impact sailing trips or fishing adventures are of great interest to our community. Share it on our events and we’ll pass it on.
Family Friendly Fun Let’s face it – we all want to know about nature friendly family fun things to do so if you have family fun events coming up that are nice to nature then get them up there!
Astronomy As featured in our recent blog astro-tourism is growing in popularity as the search for dark skies grows in a world of powered up communities. If you’re holding a star gazing event or Star BQ be sure to get it on our listings in plenty of time!
Natural Cosmetics / Herbalists Making cosmetics from natural ingredients is always hugely popular as is the interest in medicinal herbs so those offering workshops, classes or events on either are recommended to add them to our listings.
Gardening, Smallholdings and Self Sufficiency Biodiversity is so important in these challenging times and our community like to know what the best pollinator friendly plants /peat free compost options, home made compost tricks and ways to grow more of their own food and be more self sustainable to not only reduce bills but to save the planet, so if you hold events, classes or workshops in these areas then get it listed!
Traditional Crafts: Willow Workshops, Basket Weaving, Knitting, Wood Crafts… whatever your tradition
al skills workshops and events might be get them listed today so we can share them out to our community.
Music Music makes the world go round 🙂 Whether you hold music appreciation classes, instrument making workshops or teach music lessons why not add it to our events for our community to discover.
Alternative Living People interested in sharing their alternative living communities’ events or advice can do so through the blogs or the listings – get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Green Festivals Got a green festival in the works? Get it up there and we’ll share it out for you. Attending a festival with a green product or service? Share it on our blog.
Green Retail Do you source or sell green products? We’d love to hear about them – get them listed through our blog.
Social Clubs Communities – that’s what it’s all about, be they a community of bird watchers, social walkers, art enthusiasts, or herbalists – share your community group through our listings and grow your membership.
Well, those are just some of the businesses and groups that can benefit from joining EcoActive – pass it on and if in doubt give me a shout 🙂 Roz
We have over 15 years online marketing and web development experience and over 10 years travel and hospitality experience. This along with a passion for nature and sustainability makes us the perfect match for promoting the eco side of your business – Find Out More About Joining Our Community Here >>
Eco Active Events is a place to find and book eco related activities and events and join our community of nature lovers who understand and value sustainable practices. By booking through Eco Active Events you are supporting local business across Ireland.
How it Began…
Finding it difficult to source foraging type events online I decided to begin Eco Active in 2013.
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle mainly due to a combination of rolling hills of green and the poem “When Erin First Rose” written by Belfast-born William Drennan in 1795.
Over the past decade Irish tourism has grown to factor in green credentials with emphasis on supporting local people and the environment in order to enable sustainable tourism as visitor numbers grow.
Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.
I find these eco friendly businesses fascinating as they are often created in the starkest locations against all odds.
One example is the organic flower farm ‘BumbleBee Farm’ in beautiful West Cork which rests on top of a windy mountain yet produces delightful blooms of all colours for use in wedding bouquets. Last year I travelled around the country meeting many of these eco entrepreneurs experiencing for myself the hard work and passion that each has poured into their particular endevour.
Many were an eye opener in recycling and sustainable living offering comfortable accommodation and an array of unique family fun activities throughout the year as well as workshops that utilise their natural environment.
I met Emma who adores (& rescues) rabbits, dogs and alpacas and welcomes visitors to enjoy a beautiful riverside walk and meet the alpacas.
I noticed how much each eco related business in an area work together to promote one another- by providing locally produced food or services and suggesting one another to visitors. This community led attitude results in making their destination more attractive to visitors who can easily find all they wish to make for a memorable holiday.
This is widespread in Ballybunion Co Kerry with local guide Danny of EcotrekBallybunion taking us to meet Mike of the Bromore Cliffs along the WildAtlanticWay and of course along The Sheepshead Way also in West Cork which incidentally Graham Norton recently named as his ‘favourite place of 2015’ on his BBC radio 2 show.
Going Green doesn’t mean less luxury or facilities – in fact these green experiences give back so much more than they take – the G spot for your next break! 😉
If you’re considering a new take on life and are interested in creating an Eco business then check out this useful Failte Ireland Green-marketing-toolkit for top tips on getting started.
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.
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 >>
Well Done To James Chilton and Howard Goodwin of ICRT.ie who held a very successful conference in Dublin for Responsible Tourism on Wednesday last. The variety and quality of speakers were second to none and the wealth of information vast!
I arrived at lunchtime as I had a prior engagement so the first speaker I saw was Caroline Warburton, National strategy delivery coordinator for The Scottish Tourism Alliance. She highlighted how tourists do not differentiate between providers of activities or accommodation when they are looking for things to do, they just want to know what there is to do and do it. Tourism is everyones’ business and the TS2020 initiative aims to bring all the seperate initiatives together under one common strategy. Whilst a work in progress Caroline confirmed that already there is a distinct change in the culture of tourism in Scotland with collaboration being key.
I also enjoyed Joanna Hayes‘ of ThisIsCavan.ie who spoke about how their Accessibility Initiative turned into a tourism initiative by chance as the benefits of raising awareness and providing better services attract a new market to the area. She pointed out that in many cases it is our attitude to disability more than anything that needs to change. Rina Garrett of Errisbeo has whet my appetite for a visit to this Wild Atlantic hugging place with tales of Corncrakes, Trails and Arts to enjoy.
It was a day for the ladies as Siobhan Burke of Living The Sheep’s Head Way gave a rousing talk on how they focused on the collective advantage and cross promotion amongst themselves to create a place that people can enjoy for short breaks including a focus on foodie tours supported by the ‘Eating the Sheeps head Way’ book and much more besides.
The Sheep’s Head peninsula has been recognised as a European Destination of Excellence in recognition of the sustainable tourism on offer in this unspoilt part of the world. Silva Dorang spoke on behalf of the Aviva Stadium who place strong importance on sustainability using rainwater systems, (the water from which is then used to irrigate the pitch)and waterless urinals for example! Silva confirmed that they saved over €1m in one year along from implementation of sustainable practices. Currently they are working with their local community – Sandymount Village , to create a ‘place to be’ community hub. Watch this space… Dr Xavier Font had us all in stitches as he ran through some examples of ‘How To Sell‘ case studies. We now know that he is petrified of staying in a place with more than 5 recycling bins for fear of putting the wrong refuse into the wrong bin! 😉
He suggested that an eco tourism business, when preparing a sentence for copy, might focus less on promoting their sustainability practices and instead put what’s good for the customer at the start of the sentence and only end with how this was achieved sustainably (if at all). He likened the potential customers’ interest in a business’ sustainability practices akin to watching someone else’s wedding video… This caused some debate amongst the attendees yet is certainly worth consideration at the very least.
Collaboration and Story based trails were a recurring theme and no less so than with Martin Carey of the Mournes Heritage Trust who introduced us to the Trails and Tales available in the area including how they have created a Narnia walk (author C. S. Lewis apparently spent some time here), The fabulous Tollymore Forest, Stone Men trail and much more. Cillian Murphy showed how ambition, collaboration and passion can create great things with the Loop Head Peninsula (cool website by the way!) in Co Clare, explaining how they decided they needed to turn ‘The’ Wild Atlantic Way’ into ‘Our’ Wild Atlantic Way!
Cillian cited the importance of differentiating between areas on The Wild Atlantic Way and the importance of involving the local communities so they feel part of it. Carefully collecting data and uploading every piece of information they collated they plan to create a widget that can perhaps be plugged into other sites including www.wildatlanticway.com
All in all it was a super day and the lunch sponsored by Failte Ireland was fabulous too. I shall definitely be going along next year!
Responsible Tourism Awards Winners
Of course the 2015 Responsible Tourism Awards also took place on Wednesday evening and whilst I was unable to attend I could see on Twitter how exciting it was. The judges reasoning for their decisions can be found at /media/50639/irishrtawards2015_final_10.03.15.doc
Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism
GOLD:Connemara Wild Escapes (Co. Galway)
SILVER:Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Whale Watch West Cork (Co. Cork)
Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism
Looking for a unique holiday break in Ireland that’s in harmony with Nature?
Eco Active Ireland Members all follow the responsible tourism initiative to minimize impact on the natural environment whilst providing fun unique and often educational experiences that all the family can enjoy.
With this in mind and Easter break coming up we have listed a few below to consider:
Set in the beautiful mountains of Wild Leitrim Nuala is a fountain of warmth and local knowledge and works in tandem with local guides to provide walking & foraging holidays, electric bike tours and canoeing experiences whilst enjoying a great nights’ sleep in her all-mod-cons eco friendly cabin. Check out her special Easter and Mothers Day Offers here >>
Spend Time on An Eco Farm at Crann Og
Experience the alternative lifestyle first hand! Learn to build with recycled materials and see how community life works on the Crann Óg Eco Farm.
Marion, Flor and the gang at Crann Og have created a very special place in a beautiful setting and offer workshops, yoga and more at their working eco farm. Currently they have a number of weekends and events for all ages coming up which you can check out on their website at Crann-og.net
Top Of The Rock
Top of the Rock Pod Pairc and Walking Centre offers a safe family environment on their unique pod park with all amenities and also motorhome and camping areas available. David and Elizabeth are wonderful hosts and provide lot’s of information on local walking trails and attractions such as the nearby Alpaca farm and offer affordable options for those on tight budgets also. Check out their website topoftherock.ie
If you fancy a weekend of picking your own veg and cooking it up in an fabulous cosy eco friendly house then a weekend at An Tí Glas with Leen Organics, Gort, is for you!
The cottage is well situated for all the attractions Co Clare has to offer including: • The Burren • Cliffs of Moher • Loop Head • Slieve Aughty mountains • Ailwee and Doolin caves • Whale & Dolphin Watching • Surfing in Lahinch • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park …all within an hour’s drive of the house.
Visit them online at www.leenorganics.com
March 30 – April 2: Huath Forest School Education Part 1
May 1: Beltaine
June 25 – 28: Moonlodge Sister Meeting
July 9 – 12: Huath Forest School Education Part 2
August 2: Lughnasa
November 2: Samhain
Marion’s yoga classes are on every Monday and Tuesday (please call before coming)and we might be lucky enough to start a weekly belly dance class here in 2015. Apart from the list above, we are also planning on the following events and workshops:
Eco Family Days around the Celtic