artful eco action workings that cycle through: Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry, experimental film-making, ecological philosophy (deep ecology, ecosophy, ecofeminism), writing & forest policy development; by cathy fitzgerald, visual culture, ncad, ireland

Featured video: hollywood diaries screen reel: 2008-2012... SD & HD 8:54
notes on a small conifer plantation being transformed to a mixed species, permanent forest

Martin Lyttle Cathy Fitzgerald and Mary White - for the Green Sod Ireland 2014 Earth Day walk

Here’s Martin, myself and Mary White of Blackstairs Eco Trails talking about how Hollywood is being transformed from a conifer plantation to a permanent continuous cover, mixed species forest. Many of you will know that I worked with Mary from 2004-7 for her successful political campaign to become Ireland’s first rural Green TD (MP) but Mary also has a connection to Hollywood too, helping see the land planted back in the mid-1980s with Martin’s late father: Photo Aine McAteer

It was lovely yesterday evening to celebrate all things earthy and green for Green Sod Ireland’s Earth day walk. It was a soft grey evening and Mary White of Blackstairs Eco trails led the walk down the lanes right next to Hollywood. Mary gave us information on the history of the lane and many of the plants along the way.  Something I didn’t know was as the upper reaches of the lanes have never been sealed, the plants there are chemical free and great for food foraging! It is my favourite time of year too, all that spring bright green growth and flowers everywhere, although I find all the seasons have their own beauty and interest too.

Here are some pictures below on what was a very enjoyable evening – at the end of the walk I gave a short talk about how Martin and I are transforming Hollywood and I was able to share some of the history of this process with photos I have collected from the project over the years and how my work connects ecology, art and green politics. It was a thrill to share the story right in Hollywood – I’ve been to many open forest days but this was the first time I have led a forest talk myself. Thanks to all who came and the great comments and chat too!

Click on an Hollywood sign image below to start the slideshow.

Many thanks to all at Green Sod Ireland and Mary White of Donations to help save our ‘wild-acres’ can still be made to Green Sod through their website too.  As always, comments welcome and enjoy the South Carlow Hollywood Earth day walk below!




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Mary White of will lead  Green Sod Ireland Earth Day WildAwake Blackstairs, Co. Carlow walk at 5.30 pm, Tuesday 22 April 2014. Photo: Green Sod Ireland

I’m really delighted to announce Hollywood will be open and celebrating Earth day 2014 with Green Sod Ireland as part of one of its fundraising WildAwake walks on Tuesday 22 April, 2014 at 5.30pm.

This has developed from a coincidental meeting I wrote about a few months ago when I meet members of Green Sod Ireland and Mary White ( who were walking right past Hollywood.

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Blackstairs Eco Trails – Carlow -Tuesday 22nd April 5.30pm

Meeting Point: Old Rectory Killedmond Borris, Co. Carlow 

A Walk on the Wild Side for Earth Day

Join for a slow walk at the foot of the Blackstairs. We will look at the gently rolling heather clad hills with their lichens and ferns. We will look for herbal delights and lovely Spring flowers to guide us on our way. We will discover stunning Spanish Chestnut Trees and marvel at stone paved streams running under small granite bridges.  A walk to look at the small natural wonders in our local environment.  Suitable for all ages and for children from 10 upwards. We leave no trace!

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Green Sod wildacres across Ireland

Guide: Mary White - Walk takes just over an hour

Collaborator/ Artist – Cathy Fitzgerald

Register/Donate – For GreenSod Ireland Wild-awake Earth Day 2014 guided walks (there are other walks in Carlow town, Dublin and Galway)

Green Sod Ireland’s vision is working to establish WildAcres in every county in Ireland; safe havens where species can thrive and flourish. Since The Trust works with local communities and encourages them to live in harmony with nature. It also works to advance education by promoting and encouraging public awareness of the importance of conserving land and protecting the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.


Hollywood and Green Sod Ireland – a small eco art conversation

Soon after I first met members of Green Sod Ireland they asked if I could develop an eco art residency. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the workload in my eco art phd but I offered to take photos and to bring Green Sod WildAwake walkers into Hollywood after Mary White’s guided walk (this seemed to tie in nicely as Mary was involved in the planting of Hollywood in the mid-1980s but you can hear more about that on the walk). Mary’s Green Sod walk (see above) is through lanes that circle the top of the valley under Mt Leinster. It ends on the lane that runs alongside Hollywood. (more…)

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By chance, on the way to a great conference last week I happened to meet Duncan Stewart – we were both taking public transport. Duncan is perhaps one of Ireland’s best known TV personalities, an award-winning architect, he hosts Ireland’s only environmental programme “EcoEye”. In fact, with the woeful reporting on environmental concerns in Ireland (see here for a recent discussion), its hard to imagine where we would be without Duncan’s popular programme. “EcoEye” often raises ideas and projects that people are working on despite the slowness of our government to really respond to key issues like fuel and food security and climate change.  Duncan’s “EcoEye” team have recently looked at communities getting on with developing their own community energy schemes, the future of farming and food production, climate change, the problems with water, and also, a vision for Ireland’s forests!

I was really delighted to see Duncan’s episode on forests and woodlands in January (see above). (more…)


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