Connecting people with landscape

By Mary Dennehy

CONNECTING people to places and landscapes was the aim of a guided upland farming walk organised by the Dublin Mountain Partnership last weekend.

Led by Glenasmole farmer Donie Anderson, with the backing of his trusty sheep dog Jess, the walk gave participants an insight into upland sheep farming as they embarked on an historical trail through the scenic area of Castlekelly.

DMP Donie Anderson CREDIT DMP compressor

Farmer Donie Anderson leads a group through a scenic area of Castlekelly (Image: DMP)

Speaking with The Echo, Clodagh Duffy, Recreational Manager with the Dublin Mountain Partnership (DMP), said that guided walks are held weekly, in the hope of creating more sustainable trails.

“We want to connect people more with where they’re walking,” Clodagh said.

“Help people to connect more with the landscape.

“It’s nice to walk through these areas and enjoy the scenic views and get some nice exercise, but there’s lots of other stuff going on around you.

“The idea of the walk with Donie was to show people that it’s a farmers’ landscape as well.”

Alongside speaking about sheep farming and demonstrating Jess’s skills in herding both sheep and geese, Donie also introduced walkers to the history of the area – which included the Fionn Mac Cumhaill stone.

Donie also spoke about the meaning behind the different place-names, introducing walkers to the lived history of the area.

instagram In Stream Square DMP Jess on the Rock to the Top Cairn. Photo Credit DMP VR John Connell

Jess the sheepdog taking in the sights in Glenasmole 

“Everybody really enjoyed the walk,” Clodagh said.

“It connected people with nature and farming, and the history within the landscape that they walked through.

“It’s nice to get a different perspective.”

After the walk, participants warmed up in the Glenasmole Community Centre.

The Dublin Mountain Partnership holds weekly walks through familiar landscapes, which, alongside connecting people to nature, also strives to promote more sustainable walking trails.

Follow the Dublin Mountain Partnership on Facebook for further details. 

**The DMP guided walks have been postponed until further notice due to measures introduced nationally to delay the spread of coronavirus. Follow them on Twitter for updates HERE

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