Cabragh Wetlands: Check out our natural heritage

Our natural heritage and Cabragh Wetlands

Our natural heritage and Cabragh Wetlands

What is a heritage? Read on to find out.

We’ve had some very successful events at Cabragh Wetlands as part of Heritage Week.

But what is Heritage? At its most basic, it means what our children and their children inherit from our generation. As humans it’s easy for us to understand our man-made heritage. These are an intrinsic part of our culture and they are part of what makes us Irish. We all really value this heritage.

Can you imagine if the Rock of Cashel was turned into a hotel and you would see its large neon sign as you drove in the main road from the Horse and Jockey? Can you imagine if the Tara Brooch, the Cross of Cong and the Derrynaflan Chalice were to be sold to the highest bidder at public auction? Can you imagine if the Book of Kells was to be left out in the rain to rot? You would be horrified and rightly so.

These are the some of the finest examples of our Irish Heritage and are fully protected.
Another part of our heritage is the Irish landscape with all its mountains, rivers, lakes, bogs, wetlands, woods, estuaries and seashores and all the wildlife that inhabits these areas. This is our natural heritage. Surely the Galtee Mountains, The Devil’s Bit and the River Suir are part of what it is to be from Tipperary. It can be hard to put your finger on it. You definitely miss it when it’s gone.

Equally, the sound of the Curlew and the Cuckoo in Littleton bog is part of our heritage. The sight of a Kingfisher or an Otter on the River Suir will always brighten you day. The song of the Yellowhammer in the hedgerow. The beautiful vanilla smell of Gorse flowers. The shimmering wings of a dragonfly over a bog pool.

The sight of a thousand ducks and waders flying over Cabragh on a crisp winter afternoon is really memorable. We should be able to pass these things on to the future generations.
Someone once said that “people won’t save something unless they care about it, and they won’t care about it unless they understand it”.

Last Saturday evening we had an event where we trapped Swallows coming in to roost in the reeds at Cabragh. We ringed them and took some body measurements. Members of the audience, young and old, were able to briefly handle the birds as they were released.

While the people that attended the event got really close views of the birds, we were able to explain where they migrate to and how a stop-off site like Cabragh is really important to migrating Swallows. By helping them to understand why Cabragh is important to the Swallows, we hope that more people will care about their natural heritage and then they will want to save it for future generations.

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