Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eco Eye in the South East

“The south east of Ireland has managed to successfully link all of its greatest attributes; fishing, food and heritage.” That was the verdict of Tania Stewart, Eco Eye presenter following her visit to Waterford’s Blackwater Valley.

Tania travelled a stretch of the Blackwater through stunning scenery with Cyril Saichs, Direct Conservation Officer. The Blackwater’s status as a special area of conservation is paying dividends for local wildlife, preserving habitats for rare native species such as the long eared owl and barn owl and providing wonderful sighting opportunities for the tourists who choose to ‘cruise’ or kayak on the river.

Conservation also results in bountiful fish stocks and ensures the Blackwater’s status as Ireland’s premiere salmon fishing destination. Tania’s fishing lessons were provided by champion angler Glenda Powell of The Blackwater Lodge, Ballyduff which welcomes visitors from all over the world to enjoy the peace of the water- and the satisfaction of a catch.

The historic management of the Blackwater and its wooded banks by the Devonshire family of Lismore Castle, as documented in Lismore Heritage Centre, also attracted the Eco Eye team who visited the 300 year old trees of the Castle Gardens’ Yew Walk.

Burgeoning food tourism got a look in too; Margaret Jeffares, founder of Good Food Ireland praised the vast variety of local food in the south east and its wonderful international reputation which will be celebrated in Dungarvan with the Waterford Festival of Food in April.

See it all on the RTE Player:

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