Comments Off on Ecology


Sam Blight July 2019

  Poulthyclogher Cave – Drumshanbo Co.Leitrim, Ireland   ( Aughacashel )
                                                       The largest underground cave in Ireland

This was a cave that was mapped in the 50’s and then not visited until earlier in 2010. Its a stunning cave with one of the largest chambers in Ireland!

We believe that everyone has a valuable role to play in helping to protect our environment for future generations. As environmental problems become increasingly more urgent, so must our commitment to finding solutions. Working together communities around the Ireland to learn real environmental problem-solving skills.

Lough Allen Basin Slideshow Link Enjoy   Lough Allen Basin Slideshow Link

Link to  Old River Shannon webpage

Islands of Lough Allen

Lough Allen

Click on map to enlarge

The centre is ideally situated to host various Ecology field courses .Lough Allen (Loch Aillionn in Irish) is a lake situated on the River Shannon, in the north-central part of Ireland, near Ireland‘s border region. Most of the lake is in County Leitrim with a smaller portion in County Roscommon. The lake lies to the south of the river’s source, near the Iron Mountains, and is the uppermost of the three main lakes on the river.

The lake is mainly on a north-south axis, with the head of lake at the north, and the end of the lake in the south. The R280 skirts the west side of the lake, while the R207 follows the east bank, from Ballinagleragh to Drumshanbo. The R200 is on the north side of the lake, travelling west from Dowra to Drumkeeran. For panoramic views, use the Arigna Miners Way & Historical Trail as your guide. The Iron Mountains (Slíabh an Íariann) overlook the lake. There are 2 loop walks, which will show the lake and its shorelines at its best.

Lough Allen  is a major geographical area in the North West of Ireland. It is a medium sized Lake with the 3 towns of Drumshanbo, Drumkeeran, and Dowra at its 3 corners. The Basin embraces 3 counties but most of it lies in Co. Leitrim. Leitrim is Ireland’s smallest county, in terms of population, but quite elongated. With a population of only 28,000 there is loads of space to grow. Lough Allen neatly separates the county into a southern and a northern half. This site is dedicated to the aim of researching and conserving the unique environment  of the area to meet the needs of the young educated people growing up in this region.

Lough Allen and its environment

Links to research carried out

Lough Allen

All the surrounding mountains are designated as NHA’s which provides ample habitat for various forms of wildlife from frogs, to badgers to foxes, to silka deer and every native species in between.  Ever since practical fieldwork became an integral part of the new modular geography curriculum the fieldwork question on both the Junior and Leaving Certificates has become a popular choice.  The primary purpose of fieldwork is to introduce pupils to the everyday realities of scientific research: not only in the field of geography but also in botany; ecology; biology and all other sciences. The emphasis is on practicality, observation and good data collection.

The basis of physical geography research is to apply what is learned in the classroom to the real world – and this is where we excel. Apart from the multitude of geographical features readily apparent in the Lough Allen Basin itself, the Hostel is only a short distance from other habitats and features as diverse as eroded peat bogs, primary stage river basins. To this end we ensures that each of the Field Studies offered have sufficient breadth and depth to allow students work in smaller collaborative units thereby eliminating not only the temptation to plagiarise the work of others but precluding the possibility of doing so.

We offer three options that are suitable for Junior and Leaving Certicifate students; Transition Year students and 5th and 6th Class Primary students.

These options are:

  • Scientific Study of an Ecosystem
  • Deposit Erosion and Transportation Study
  • In-depth River Study

While the principles of each study remain the same for all students the level of complexity will differ depending on the course the pupil is doing.   All are available as either Full or Half Day programmes. For Half Day programmes you can choose one of the three studies. For Full Day you can choose either one in depth study or two informative studies. We recommend that Junior Certificate and Transition Year students choose two informative studies and Leaving Certificate pupils choose one in depth study. Our 5th and 6th Class programme in a basic introduction to field work combining elements of all three studies. Our Full Day programmes typically run from 9.30 am-3.30pm and Half Day programmes run from 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm. Other time schedules can be accommodated.

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