European Geoparks Week. As it happened.
European Geoparks Network Week happens late May early June each year. It's a Europe – wide festival of Geoparks aimed at raising public awareness of geoconservation and promotion of geological heritage as well as events aimed at informing the wider public about geotouristic and educational activities in geoparks and having some fun at the same time..
This is a little of what happened - we'll soon have a few more pictures uploaded to the photo gallery.
South Eastern Amateur Radio Group
SEARG come to the Copper Coast every year for European Geoparks Week and talk to the world, including other Geoparks and bring their own brand of communication, welcome and sociability to the old mine buildings up at Tankardstown. This year they really lit up Tankardstown!
Giant Beach Mosaic
A great turn-out for this Bealtaine/European Geoparks Week family event last Sunday, with great enthusiasm from kids and grown-ups as they scoured Annestown beach for volcanoes, deep ocean floors, flash floods and deserts (for those who were in the know - all these environments could be found amongst the mass of pebbles which form a large part of the beach material). The pebbles along with some seaweeds and shells were used to create our giant starfish mosaic with some smaller jellyfish and fish; we even had a couple of sharks on the side. We created a wonderful seascape which stayed on display for a few hours until the tide washed in and returned all our creatures to the sea.
Our Prehistoric Past
A great evening spent steeped in history and prehistory where experimental archaeologists Brendan O'Neill, Mark Heffernan and Niall Inwood, demonstrated Bronze Age copper smelting techniques against the backdrop of the 19th Century ruined copper mining complex at Tankdardstown, where we were fortunate to witness copper nodules smelted from the locally sourced ore, our very own Copper Coast copper.
Throughout the evening a range of items were cast from the molten metal. It was a fascinating process to watch, the transformation from ore to metal to object and to learn about the methods and temperatures involved as we eagerly waited to see what each mould would yield. And we were not disappointed as a variety of axe heads, bangles, brooches and medals were created.
Discover Annestown Beach
During this light and informal event Grace O' Sullivan and Tina Keating presented Annestown beach as seen through the eyes of an ecologist and a geologist.
We discovered a history stretching back 460 million years to the formation of the volcanic rock that makes up this rocky shore. We travelled from the Antarctic, to the equator, to our present location, saw the remains of ancient creatures and marvelled at the huge variety of life this rocky sea shore supports today.
Bog and Session
Last Thursday's visit of Fenor Bog with copper coast guide Alan Walshe proved as popular as ever as he introduced us to the flora and fauna of this special habitat and described the intricate connections and interactions between them. We learned how some plants were used for medicinal and funereal purposes. It was a feast for the senses as we saw, we heard, we touched, we could smell the various scents and even tasted some of the edible flowers and plants growing in the bog.
This moveable feast then continued in the local watering hole Mother McHughs where the Passage East choral society and musician group provided a great evening's entertainment.
Bealtaine and European Geoparks Week
We would like to thank all the visiting artists, professionals and our own copper coast guides who helped make our Bealtaine and European Geopark Week events such a success again this year. Our programmes included a great variety of events from prehistoric smelting techniques to modern technology used in gem identification and radio transmission and from ancient landscapes and fossils to our living shoreline and bog land. We really enjoyed working with our new participants and were also delighted to welcome back our loyal and long standing friends who take part each year. We really do appreciate your enthusiasm and generosity of time and spirit.