Celebrating a decade of Lough Ree Summer School

The Lough Ree Environmental Summer School comes of age this July as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.   At its inception, the Summer School was well ahead of its time, and over the last decade the event has attracted a growing audience, in line with the increasing national and international awareness of environmental concerns. Appropriately focused on the theme of ‘Roots’, this year’s Summer School is a retrospective of the last decade and features the return of many of the stalwarts who participated in previous Summer Schools, expert facilitators and environmentalists, who are now household names.             Richard Collins, RTÉ’s resident expert on birds, and Eanna Ní Lamhna, environmentalist and head of An Taisce, both return to take part in the Heritage Programme, sponsored by the Heritage Council. Richard will facilitate a number of trips to view the abundant birdlife on and around Lough Ree. Eanna will conduct a number of field trips to local boglands and woodlands to explore the flora and fauna in her unique style.             Water is an integral part of the Summer School, and the Waterways Programme, sponsored by Waterways Ireland, features renowned environmentalist Dick Warner’s Island Cruise, exploring the history, legends and wildlife of Lough Ree, aboard the Viking ship, which harks back to the days when Norsemen sailed the waters of the Shannon. The programme also includes a trip with Dr. Harman Murtagh to Inch Cleraun.             The Lough Ree Environmental Summer School and Arts Festival takes place in Ballyleague-Lanesborough from 1st to 8th July. Further information, including programmes, accommodation details and booking facilities are available at: (043) 27070 or email loughreecoop@yahoo.ie . Many of the trips have limited numbers of places available so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.