Creatively connecting care for wetlands: the wonderful Ardee Bog Cafe

Creative Drummin Bog Committee members Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald were recently invited by the Friends of Ardee Bog to attend an imaginative, creative 3-day Bog Cafe in Ardee Co. Louth.

They received a warm welcome and the event strengthened connections between many groups and individuals dedicated to creatively contributing to wetland restoration across Ireland.

Taking place in a former church, there were activities for children, poetry, music, walks to look at Swift nests, a session with Kate Flood of Meath’s Girley Bogon making delicious pink tea from bog plants and why we need to always choose peat-free compost, to enchanting Curlew-masks, packs of charcoal made from rhododendron, and Hi-Vis witches creating a large, bog-plant decorated wooden totem (enviably, a wooden totem, similar to those found across Europe, has been found in the Ardee Bog area!) Many organisations were there too, including the Irish Community Wetlands Forum, which knits community-led wetland restoration connections across Ireland. There was also deep conversation and sharing over great food and plenty of tea. (See all the events on the poster below)

Jules and Cathy wish to sincerely thank the organising committee: Katie Holten, Fiona Crawley, Bryony Archer and Helen Flanagan, for the especially warm invitation to bring the Carlow Drummin Bog Project to Louth. They are both excited to further connections with the creative Friends of Ardee Bog.

PS Talking with Fiona Crawley about the beautiful Curlew-head masks we were not surprised they have been a hit elsewhere. Friends of Ardee Bog were invited to offer a Curlew-mask making workshop at the Electric Picnic festival, and next month at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, there will be masked Curlew performing for the Earth Rising Event’ –

“Friends of Ardee Bog will host a CURLEW PARADE in the great meadow at IMMA. Dressed as Curlews, the iconic Irish bird on the brink of extinction, we will call for RIGHTS OF NATURE on the island of Ireland. The performance will be part of our continued call for the Rights of Nature in Ireland. We are excited by the potential to turn the museum inside out and repurpose the institutional space of IMMA’s great meadow as a space for a community celebration of the Rights of Nature.” Read more here