Lough Gur is a designated National Heritage Area. More than 90 species of birds have chosen Lough Gur as their home along with the rare lesser horse shoe bat and a lengthy list of butterflies and creepy crawlies that are all extremely important to the cycle of life for animals and mankind. Without trees neither would be existing and in an effort to bring their great importance to light for young and old Lough Gur Development welcome all visitors to Lough Gur for tree week to avail of a newly launched free tree trail map of the area.
With over 7,000 tree species in Ireland just 22 are native to Ireland and all of them can be found in Lough Gur. Since foundation in 1969 Lough Gur Development have focused on celebrating and promoting the archaeology and history of the area. The group now turn to the great outdoors in a move to preserve and protect not just historical heritage but also our natural heritage.
In 2016 TV expert and environmental consultant Éanna Ní Lamhna visited Lough Gur to mark out the magic and significance of each tree. It was difficult not to be motivated by her enthusiasm and encouragement to develop a tree trail that will allow people to enjoy and learn about what are often called the “lungs of the earth”. The tree trail took over a year to plan and put in place. On March 5th tree expert Albert Nolan launched the new trail for Lough Gur. Undeterred by poor weather crowds turned out to investigate the microcosms that exist on each and every part of the lofty giants.
In association with Limerick Council, expertly crafted timber signs stand before each tree to give an overview of the uses of and in some cases the mythology of each tree. Younger visitors are treated to a tricky tree trivia section on each map that stir curiosity. All answers can be found on the tree plaques or if you ask at the Lough Gur Heritage Centre, the guides there will be happy to help you on your quest.
For tree huggers and tree novices, this is the week to take the plunge in Lough Gur and explore all native tree species located in one beautiful place.