Cave Hill Conservation
12th April 2014 -
We had a successful start to this year's programme of walks when Phil Simpson of Buzzard Bushcraft took fifteen of us on a ramble in the woods. It went so well and Phil's knowledge was so fascinating that a three hour walk lasted well over four hours.
Phil identified a wide range of plants and told us, not only whether they could be eaten (or not!) But also illustrated other medicinal and practical uses. He also had a fund of stories and folklore attached to the plants. Most intriguing of all, we practised making fire using flint we picked up from the ground and natural kindling.
Phil will be back in August when we will repeat the walk with a very different range of plants on show.(See our events guide for details)
Sean, can you mention that the photographs show the group assembling at the Castle and then Phil talking to us about the many uses of wild garlic. Also that there are other photos of the walk on our Facebook site.
3rd May 2014 Dawn Chorus walk with Larry Toal
Our biggest crowd ever -
We heard the usual culprits -
17th May 2014 Birds event with Aidan Crean!
On Saturday 17 May, Aidan Crean took 26 of us to a site not far from Belfast Castle
where he had put up mist nets a half-
21st June 2014 Butterflies and Beasties event with Catherine Bertrand
Over 55 people across all ages gathered at Belfast Castle at 1000 on Saturday 21
June for a morning's exploration of the butterflies, moths, bumblebees and other
insects in the Park. We were guided by Catherine Bertrand, the Head of Butterfly
Conservation Northern Ireland and some of her helpers. The weather was nigh perfect
for butterflies and we found 8 varieties: green-
19th July 2014 Ballyaghagan Nature Reserve event with Cormac Hamill
On 19 July, 30 walkers turned up to take part in our July walk, led by Cormac Hamill
over Ballyaghagan Nature Reserve at the back end of Cave Hill Country Park. There
was a heavy mist so we couldn't see any views. That meant, however, that we concentrated
mainly on the flowers. And there was a rich variety: we saw early purple orchids
in plenty and some butterfly orchids. We also identified about twenty flowers. A
meadow pipit flew by and we could hear larks in the mist.We also stopped at various
archaeological sites. And to crown it all, about twelve o'clock as we were leaving
the top, the mist cleared and we got the views after all. All-
16th August 2014 Foraging Walk with Phil Simpson
Phil Simpson of Buzzard Bushcraft (in the hat) and his friend Davy Mould talking to about 37 people, young and old, who took part in a foraging walk in the Park on Saturday 16 August. Both were very informative and it was amazing what they both knew. They talked of the medicinal, practical and culinary uses of a great number of plants and also told some of the folklore attached to some of the plants. They also showed how to make a fire with only a piece of flint, a steel and some birch bark. Who needs matches?
18th October 2014 Industrial History Walk with Henry Bell
On Saturday 18 October, 29 people assembled at the entrance to Carr's Glen, on the Ballysillan Road where Henry Bell met us and took us on a guided walk to the remains that are still evident in Carr's Glen.
Henry is an acknowledged expert on the industrial history of the area and has collected lots of visual resources over the years. He brought us first to the remains of the old flour mill and then to what's left of the beetling mill and from there up to the top of the glen where he pointed out the remains of the old quarry settlements, Mammystown and Daddystown. We then visited near the source of the Carr's Glen river, an important source of water for 18th century Belfast.