independent

Sunday 20 October 2019

Free events from guided tours to whale watching

Hook Head lighthouse.
Hook Head lighthouse.

FREE events will be taking place all over County Wexford as part of National Heritage Week in August.

This year, Wexford's contribution to the annual celebration of Ireland's rich heritage will range from from history workshops and guided walks to whale watching and butterfly hunting.

According to the Heritage Council, there will be a record total of 1,700 events around the country, the majority free to attend. In 2012 over 500,000 people attended Heritage Week events and huge numbers are also expected to play a part this year.

'In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the understanding and awareness among the general public of the importance and impact heritage can have, both economically and socially. Heritage is not about nostalgia, or some misplaced aim to live in the past, but an opportunity to engage with our own story and in particular the natural and cultural heritage of where we live. The theme of Heritage Week 2013, 'Discover the Past. Build the Future' reflects this thinking,' said Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council, at the launch of the programme, running from August 17 to 25.

50,000 copies of the National Heritage Week Event Guide will be available in the coming weeks free throughout the country in Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices, Libraries, OPW Sites, Bus Eireann Stations, County Council Offices etc. Complete event listings are also available on the National Heritage Week website, www.heritageweek.ie and the free iPhone/ Android app. There is still time to register your event for National Heritage Week, simply log on to www.heritageweek.ie .

The Heritage Council is also looking for volunteers in every county to become County Ambassadors for Heritage Week. Located in the local Tourism Information Office throughout the week, the role of the County Ambassador will be to provide tourists with information on what is happening in the local area. Training and support will be provided by the Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland to all volunteers the week commencing August 12, 2013. If you are interested in becoming a County Ambassador for the week, log on to www.heritageweek.ie, the deadline to apply is July 31, 2013.

The annual National Heritage Week Photo Competition is now open for entries and looking for images which depict the past, present and future. Photos should tell a story of events, objects, people, features of the natural environment or practices of the past which have shaped who you are today. Images do not have to be taken during National Heritage Week but must have been taken in Ireland during 2013. Upload your pictures to the official Heritage Week Photo Competition Site: http://pix.ie/group/heritageweek.

The closing date for entries is August 31, 2013. The winning images in the Adult, Youth and Junior Category will be decided by a panel of photography and heritage experts, and winners will be announced mid-September.

Here's a snapshot of some of the free events taking place in Wexford during National Heritage Week 2013:

Guided Nature Walk at Hook Head, Sunday 25, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A guided walk along the cliffs to see and explore coastal processes, rocks, flora, fauna, fossils and a lime kiln. Meet outside the reception centre at the lighthouse at 2 p.m. Venue : Hook Head Lighthouse.Organiser : Jim Hurley, SWC Promotions. Contact: swc@eircom.net, 053 9129671

Tradfest & Céilí, Sunday 18 Noon to 6 p.m. It is proposed to hold a traditional Irish music festival & céilí . Venue : The Stores, Charlotte Street, Wexford. Organiser : Wexford Borough Council Contact the Town Clerk: pat.collins@wexfordboroughcouncil.ie, 053 9166900, www.wexfordboroughcouncil.ie

Percussion Workshop, Saturday 24, 11 a.m. to Noon 1Led by Michael MacCoillte (OPW) and suitable for children. Come along and learn a little about some of the handmade traditional music instruments designed and used by Michael himself. These are unique and are great fun to try out. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : John F. Kennedy Arboretum (OPW), Michael Forristal, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

Heritage Week Final Celebrations, Sunday 25, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. An afternoon of traditional music, song and dance, celebrating the JFK50 Anniversary and incorporating a nature theme throughout the show. Suitable for all ages. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : John F. Kennedy Arboretum (OPW), Bernie Sinnott, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

Traditional Music Performance, Sunday 18, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Traditional music in Ferns Castle visitor centre. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Venue : Ferns Castle. Organiser : Ferns Castle OPW, Guide on duty, jerpointabbey@opw.ie, 053 9366411

Guided Tours, Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21, 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. & Thursday 22, 3 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Join us on a walk through the beautiful John F. Kennedy Arboretum and learn a little about the history and plant life of this OPW managed site. Participants will be accompanied by an experienced JFK tour guide on the day. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : Office of Public Works (JFK Araboretum), Marian Mangaoang, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

Historical House and Garden, Saturday 17 to Sunday 25, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There are historical tours of Newtownbarry House and Garden house daily, and you can view the gardens at your leisure. The art gallery will host an exhibition and the tearoom and patio will be open. Historical tours of the house are at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily. The garden can be viewed 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Venue : Newtownbarry House and Garden, Bunclody. Cost : €6 House and garden, €5 garden, €4 concession and children. Organiser : Newtownbarry House and Garden, Clody Norton, alicenorton@eircom.net, 053 9376383

Ferns Castle, Saturday 17 to Sunday 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a walk back in time with Ferns Castle as a backdrop. Venue : Ferns Castle, Ferns. Organiser : Ferns Castle OPW, jerpointabbey@opw.ie, 053 9366411

Ballyhack Castle Guided Tours, Saturday 17 to Wednesday 21, 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. & Saturday 24 and Sunday 25, 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission and free guided tours of this 15th century tower house. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Venue : Ballyhack Castle, Ballyhack Village, New Ross. Organiser : Ballyhack Castle OPW, jerpointabbey@opw.ie, 051 389468

Tintern Abbey, Saturday 17 to Sunday 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission and free guided tours of this 12th Century Abbey. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Music and craft demonstrations will be advertised locally. Venue : Tintern Abbey, Tintern Abbey, Saltmills, New Ross. Organiser : Tintern Abbey OPW, jerpointabbey@opw.ie, 051 562650

The Vikings and Normans in Ireland, Thursday 22, 10.30 a.m. to midday. This workshop is an interactive, costumed display for children on the history of the Vikings and Normans in Ireland. Venue : Bunclody Library, Millwood, Carrickduff, Bunclody. Organiser : Bunclody Library, Dearbhla Ni Laighin, bunclodylib@wexfordcoco.ie, 053 9375466, www.wexford.ie/library

Walled Towns Day, Saturday 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Music, book binding, calligraphy and artisan fair all based on the Walls of New Ross. Day-long event, all Interactive. Venue : Maiden Gate, Irishtown, New Ross. Organiser : New Ross Town Council, John Moran, john.moran@newrosstc.ie, 086 3851778, www.newrosstc.ie

Vinegar Hill Workshop, Tuesday 20, 11 a.m. to midday. This workshop will inform and entertain children about the Battle of Vinegar Hill, by providing information on the Battle of Vinegar Hill using costumes and artefacts. Venue : Ennisorthy Library, Lymington Road. Organiser : Enniscorthy Public Library, Jarlath Glynn, jarlath.glynn@wexfordcoco.ie, 053 9236055, www.wexford.ie/library

The Town Walls of Wexford: History and Archaeology, Saturday 17 to Sunday 25, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The theme of this archaeological exhibition is 'The Town Walls of Wexford' - its history and archaeology. Venue : Wexford Library, Mallin Street. Organiser: Wexford Borough Council, Pat Collins, pat.collins@wexfordboroughcouncil.ie, 053 9166900, www.wexfordboroughcouncil.ie

Slieve Coillte Walk - Ceol and Stroll, Saturday 17, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fitness and history for all. A guided walk, led by a by a JFK Arboretum guide, to the top of Slieve Coillte and learn about the history, fauna and wildlife of this wonderful location. Ending with a song and music tribute to the 1798 Rebellion. Meet at Visitor Centre JFK Arboretum. Venue : Slieve Coillte Mountain, Slieve Coillte, JFK Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : Office of Public Works (John F. Kennedy Arboretum), Bernie Sinnott, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

The Hidden Treasures of Wexford Friary, Thursday 22, 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Discover the history, treasures and lost traditions, within the grounds of the Franciscan Friary in Wexford town. Meet in the Friary car park, underneath the trees on the green. Venue : Wexford Friary, Church of Saint Francis Assisi, Francis Street. Organiser : Wexford County Council, Carmel Doolan, carmel.doolan@wexfordcoco.ie, 053 9196101

The Heritage of Wexford Town in 10 Items, Saturday 17 and Sunday 25, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pop up exhibition showcasing the heritage of Wexford Town in 10 items which highlight its historical and cultural identity. Organiser : Wexford County Council, Carmel Doolan, carmel.doolan@wexfordcoco.ie, 053 9196101

Craft Fair, Sunday 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come along and take a look at the varied crafts on display by very talented local craftpersons. Marvel at the skill, time and effort which has been employed to produce some very unique, intricate and beautiful creations. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : John F. Kenedy Arboretum (OPW), Mairead Cairbre, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for a guided, 3-hour, land-based whale watch. No bookings necessary. Dress appropriately for weather, bring binoculars. Please note there are, of course, no guarantees of sightings at all sites. Venue : Hook Head. Organiser : Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Deirdre Slevin, padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie, 086 3850568, www.iwdg.ie

Bat Walks, Wednesday 21 and Friday 23, 8.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Come and enjoy the bats of JFK Park in their natural habitat and learn about these fascinating creatures from Ken Foley (OPW) and John Flynn. Meet at the Visitor Centre. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboredum, New Ross. Organiser : John F. Kennedy Arboreutm, Mairead Cairbre, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland.ie

Butterfly Bio Blitz, Sunday 25, 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children's activity. Come and see how many Butterfly species you can find in an hour and a half at the JFK Arboretum. Weather dependent - Booking advisable. Venue : John F. Kennedy Arboretum, New Ross. Organiser : John F. Kennedy Arboretum (OPW) Mairead Cairbre, jfkarboretum@opw.ie, 051 388171, www.heritageireland

Nature Walk, Monday 19, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The walk will involve a look at the nature of the woodland followed by a bug hunting session in the sand dunes. Nature ID charts and bug hunting equipment will be provided. Meet at the barrier at 2 pm. Event is weather dependent. Venue : Raven Wood Nature Reserve, Raven Wood, Curracloe. Organiser : Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Andrew Butler, wwreducation@agh.gov.ie, 087 2646433, www.wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie

Bug and Butterfly Hunt, Sunday 18, 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. We will be using bug catching equipment to catch water and land bugs including butterflies. All equipment will be provided. There are picnic tables and toilet facilities at the centre. Event is weather dependant. Event will be run at the reserve centre. Venue : Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Ardcavan Lane, North Slob, Wexford. Organiser : Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Andrew Butler, wwreducation@ahg.gov.ie, 082 646433, www.wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie

Seashore Walk, Friday 23, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A guided walk along the beach to find and identify the coastal flora and fauna present. Nature ID charts will be available. Event is weather dependent. Meet at the entrance to Ardcavan Beach. Venue : Ardcavan Beach, Ardcavan Lane, Wexford. Organiser : Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Andrew Butler, wwreducation@agh.gov.ie, 087 2646433, www.wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie

Sow & Grow, Thursday 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hands on gardening for children. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Venue : Tintern Abbey, Saltmills, New Ross. Organiser : Tintern Abbey OPW, jerpointabbey@opw.ie, 051 562650

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