Sample delights of the Shannon at Lough Ree Environmental Summer School

If you fancy an island cruise with Dick Warner, or a trip to Inch Cleraun with Dr. Harman Murtagh, then check out the itinerary for this year’s Lough Ree Environmental Summer School, which takes place in the first week in July. This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Summer School and the theme is ‘Roots’, which will celebrate and investigate whether they are the growing kind, historical or cultural. Since the inaugural school in 1998, the event has grown to be one of the most important festivals of its kind on the island of Ireland.  The Summer School includes a Waterways Ireland Programme and a Heritage Awareness Programme. Trips on the Waterways Programme include an island cruise with Dick Warner through the northern section of Lough Ree, describing the history and legends of the earliest inhabitants and pointing out the abundant wildlife. Also included is a trip to Inch Cleraun with Dr. Harman Murtagh to the site of an early monastery founded by St. Diarmuid in the 6th century. The Heritage Programme includes an exhibition tracing the history and origins of Lanesborough through the ages from the time of St. Diarmuid to the early 20th century. This exhibition will be on display in the Lough Ree Co-Op for the duration of the Summer School. New trips include a visit to the Pound Bog with Eanna Ni Lamhna. This trip explores the local bog area, which is a home to a host of wild flora and butterflies while the bog itself offers a rich environment of sphagnum mosses, lichens, insect eating plants and rare flowering plants. Another new trip is a visit to Portlick Woods to explore the conserved woodland on the eastern shores of Lough Ree. In association with the Arts Council, there is an exhibition in Lanesborough Community College, which features pieces, which were selected by the art students from the college following a visit to the Arts Council in March. These works were chosen on the theme of Roots across a variety of disciplines from drawing and painting to sculpture and film installations. The pieces can be viewed in the Community College through the week of the 1st to 8th July. In addition several local artist are also exhibiting their work. If you would like to request a detailed brochure of the event or book on one of the many trips please contact the Lough Ree Co-Op office on (043) 27070 or email Many of the trips have limited numbers of places available so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.