Category: News

Small actions, big steps in Regenerative Tourism

Part of our ongoing journey towards a more sustainable and regenerative destination is how we use all of the land resource that has been in our family for generations.  The importance of natural spaces, wild areas and trees has always been part of our place.  We are now offering guests the opportunity to place their own fingerprints on the future through supporting our native tree plantings.  Taking inspiration from the ‘Hare’s Corner’ initiative in The Burren, we are now looking to plant the parts of our fields that are too small for modern farm machinery to reach. These spaces offer ideal locations for native Irish trees such as Oak, Birch, Whitethorn etc.  We also intend to plant an orchard comprising of Heritage Apple tree varieties.

We are inviting guests who wish to be part of this to select the option of contributing to the planting of one to five trees when they make an online booking for one of our cottages.  We will then look after the selection, planting, staking and maintaining of these trees.  Depending on the time of year, guests may wish to be part of the planting and we will also note where each tree is planted and identify its supporter.

Regenerative Tourism offers visitors the opportunity to contribute to the place where they holiday, this is one example of how one can make a difference.

 

 

Sustainable Tourism Network

We are delighted to announce that we are now members of The Sustainable Tourism Network in Ireland.  This is another step in our Sustainable and Regenerative Tourism journey as we move towards certification in this area.  We will soon be embarking on our Foundation Module and that will be followed closely by and Energy Module.  This work builds on the existing work we are doing under the transnational CE4RT programme and we are so energised by all the possibilities that this focus will bring!

 

Restorative and Regenerative Leadership

“May is the month of expectation, the month of wishes, the month of hope.” 

— Emily Brontë

This time of year always brings glimmers of hope as nature reawakens and faces the sun and new growth appears wherever one looks.  We have had a particularly late spring which brought challenges and difficulties for anyone connected with the land and close to nature, however the longer days and increasing soil temperatures bring possibilities of harvest and contentment.

Watching the machinery cultivate and prepare the tillage fields in recent weeks set me thinking of the many generations past who did similar work in these same fields.  I recall as a child coming home from primary school and helping out on the back of an old corn drill where my job was to raise and lower the ‘feet’ of the drill at the headlands. I can still recall the feeling of adventure as I leaned back on the footboard at the rear of the drill and used my bodyweight to pull down on the lever that started and stopped the seeds at the end of each pass up or down the field.  I can still see my father looking back to ensure that all was done safely and correctly.  Perhaps as one grows older,  we become more conscious of our place in generational stories and how the connection with the past can sustain us into the future?  Sometimes, when I take some time to consider my connection to our place I am minded of the concept of ‘deep time’, that is, past, present and future all at once.

As a family and business we are looking at how best to be a more Regenerative destination while we maintain the tradition of caring for the earth that has sustained us all, in good times and not so good.  Recently I was reading a piece that referenced the Iroquois Nation in North America and how they acknowledged the place that the Elders held in their community and their deep-time vision which considered, “What would be good for the next seven generations?”  This is the challenge and opportunity for us all in this time of change and uncertainty, as we consider and act in new ways, as we remind ourselves of the wisdom that is ‘under our feet’.

Over the weekend we hosted a Leadership Team as they explored their work and how best to act in ways that are Restorative, Just and Sustainable.  It was a joy and honour to hear their deep discussions as they wrestled honestly with the challenge! As part of the closing ceremony each participant helped plant a tree, their intentions were brought to mind and they drummed out their hopes and gratitudes.  Watching on I thought of the future generations who might enjoy the annual blossoms on this Cherry Tree and I also remembered the Native American Sweat Lodge traditions where one says “All my relations!” and touches the earth.

So, if you have read this far, I invite  you to pause for a moment and acknowledge your place among “All your relations”. 

 

Thanks also to Inez Wilson Heenan and Grattan Donnelly for their great facilitative work in shaping the entire experience.

 

 

The benefits of being in Nature

Those of us who grew up with access to rural areas, wilderness and open spaces often take this opportunity for granted.  However, for many people, this is all too uncommon.  Much has been written about in recent years about the benefits of taking time in nature, stopping, pausing and just listening to the sounds around you and experiencing the place with all your senses.  

About a year ago I came across James Farrell who is a leader, coach and environmentalist.  Speaking with him I quickly got a sense of how connected he is with the earth and how it shapes  all that he does.  Meeting him reminded me of the times that guests and clients of ours who spend some time at Fuchsia Lane Farm often comment about the peace, sense of space and connection with nature that can occur here.  With this in mind we now leave a copy of James book, Being in Nature, which he co-wrote with Lee Evans, in each of our cottages.   This lovely work offers a range of ways that we can pause, take time in nature and become more revitalised, energised and connected with our core.  

We invite you to come and experience for yourself!

St Patrick’s Day and our Irish Diaspora

Growing up I often marvelled at how St Patrick’s Day was celebrated so enthusiastically in other countries as our TV screen showed us all the parades from the USA, Australia and other far flung places.  I recall being envious of the better weather that March 17 seemed to get outside of Ireland!   In recent years our national day has become a landmark day for so many people and it is wonderful to see this connection across the globe and it makes one proud of our identity.

Identity is something that has become part of our story here on our land as we consider the past as we look to the future and consider the key issues facing business, tourism and people as we respond to climate and biodiversity issues.  In recent months I have found my self being drawn to a particular field which we call ‘The Fort Field’.  This field, usually used to grow cereals, has an area left undisturbed for generations and we always referred to it as ‘The Ring Fort’.  Irish farms and the landscape has (or had) thousands of these and they date back to Celtic times and are the remnants of cattle enclosures or settlements where people lived.  Stories, myths and sacred spaces often developed around these places and this has often helped retain them as features.  

Growing up here, we were told that people were buried in this Ring Fort during the famine. The stories told us that these were probably people who were homeless, vagrant and ‘wandering the roads’ and passed away from hunger and disease.  There was also mention of unbaptised babies being buried here.  This is common with regard to Ring Forts and I know of others where similar stories are told.  

This connection with the past and the DNA of ancestors that has become part of the soil that now nourishes us can be both uplifting and unsettling at the same time.  It stirs memories of how in the past we dealt with uncomfortable issues, poverty and being ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’.  It also serves to explain part of the reason why the Irish have such a wide ranging diaspora who hold a sense of Irishness at their core.  Leaving ones homeland, by choice or necessity, is part of the Irish narrative.  

As we connect across the globe on this day let us not forget those who perhaps had hopes for a brighter future here or somewhere else. They may have not have been able to make the journey but their spirit and DNA is still with us and this may be sustaining us now.  Let us all consider too, those who are experiencing loss, war, famine and upheaval in their homelands now and see Irish shores in the same light as previous generations looked on the shores of America, England or the scores of countries that are sporting the shamrock today.

 

Ring fort

Regenerative Tourism Programme

We are delighted to announce that we have been selected to participate in CE4RT, a EU supported trans-national programme designed to assist tourism enterprises to become more sustainable and regenerative.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us as we consider the best steps that we need to take as we respond to climate change and biodiversity loss.  

This programme is a collaboration between public and private partners and the main contact in Ireland is Munster Technological University.  As part of the programme we are participating in a series of weekly workshops designed to help us to move beyond sustainability and into a regenerative approach to tourism.  The objectives of the programme are:

  • Training in Circular Economy and regenerative tourism
  • One to one coaching to support us as we create a sustainability action plan and establish our carbon baseline
  • Certification in sustainability
  • Networking with other businesses across 5 countries.

We look forward to all the learning and we will keep you all posted on how it goes!

Golfing holidays at Fuchsia Lane Farm

Golfing holidays at Fuchsia Lane Farm

Why not take the opportunity to sample some really good golf courses in the area?  Enjoy a Golfing Holiday at Fuchsia Lane Farm, with 4 super 18 hole golf courses within 30 minutes drive: Portumna 16 km; Nenagh 20 km; Birr 27 km and Roscrea 36 km,  Contact us for details of how to  organise your itinerary.

Alternatively, enjoy a round of golf on one course as part of your holiday, and we are happy to arrange! 

Riverdale Pitch and Putt Club,  Nenagh is another great option, just 20 km away, with all equipment supplied at the club. 

Our Haybarn Hub workshop space

We were delighted to host a weekend workshop recently on The Inner Development Goals which was attended by a great group of people who wished to explore how to live more sustainable lives.  

We are part of a network in Ireland exploring how we might embed the IDGs into our lives, business and communities.  Here at Fuchsia Lane Farm we are offering a space where we can host face to face learning and development events for professionals and individuals who wish to deepen their work in the areas around the UN SDGs

Here are some photos from the event!

Explore our actions regarding sustainability and climate change

An invitation to set your compass. Join us for a weekend of conversation and reflection on our roles, personally and professionally, regarding sustainability .

In association with the Burren College of Art we invite you to a beautiful, peaceful location on our family farm near Terryglass, Co Tipperary, Ireland for a deep dive into the Inner Development Goals framework as a means to achieving a more sustainable future.

Take time to pause and think with others and enjoy a break from the everyday while you are here. Transformation starts with one step.

Your weekend begins at 6pm on Friday June 16 with a gathering in our Haybarn Hub where we will begin by reflecting with curiosity on how the Inner Development Goals Framework could be a tool for us as we transition. On Saturday June 17th we will explore deeper, using tools and approaches based around Theory U and Presencing. Our intention is that collectively we will connect, consider our possibilities and identify next steps to be taken.

Booking details here at this link https://lnkd.in/e4tAsRts

Our Story

The Fuchsia Lane Farm Story

Stories can be personal, public, private or shared.  Stories can be about beginnings, middles or endings. They can be linear, circular, predictable or unpredictable.  Our story is about family and place. The land and space that we call home has been in the family since the late 1800s.  Our Granary and Stables cottages are from that era and can be seen on the First Edition OS maps of 1840, just before the Great Famine. We are conscious that we became the custodians at that time and the land welcomed us. The land itself holds evidence of life from times long before that.  Perhaps the land doesn’t think too much about who the custodians are. However, what happens to the land does matter. Fuchsia Lane Farm is part of the landscape, and provides the vista that we all wake to here each morning.  Our farm has been the constant over the years, and if previous generations of Heenans could walk this land again, they would recognise fields, trees, hedgerows, streams and soil, that are all part of our story, and show evidence of many generations of life and love in this place.  The same land, where in the early 1900s, our ancestor Mary Heenan, found a Bronze Age artefact, which was donated to the National Museum of Ireland.

Our place in time

Our landscape here on Fuchsia Lane farm can be traced back to over 25 million years ago when the land was covered by a shallow, warm ocean that teemed with life. Over millennia this changed to the resultant limestone ground which is now a fertile source of life containing fossilised evidence of this temperate ocean. 

Ten thousand years ago the retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age deposited boulders, shaped fields and soil types that we can still see today.  Then Man started to make an impact and in time, Celtic tribes made their mark as they farmed the land in common with protective ring forts for their valuable cattle and harvests. New arrivals and new traditions from other countries arrived and field enclosures were created as an Anglo Saxon model became the norm.  The landscape changed but the fundamentals were the same. Those who cared for the land were sustained.  We have maintained this connection in continuing to use the old field names and also in the names of our cottages. Some of the field names include: the Ring Fort field, Starrs’ Garden, Sugar Garden, Hacketts’ field, Cows field, Callow, Lawn field, Hurling Field, Blackstick Field, Hollow field, Long Road, McLoughney’s, Round field. Our self catering cottages, which are available as holiday rentals, are the Granary, Lime Kiln, Stables and Lodge.

When we stand in our place, we are conscious of the previous generations who have cared for this piece of the earth, and when we stop for longer, we are conscious of those who will care when we are gone.

Today the landscape and earth are changing at a more rapid pace, and we need to consider the next chapter of the story. How will future generations document what we did in order to sustain and be sustained by this same land? This is now the story to be considered and explored.  Our planet is now at a juncture.  We look to the needs of the next generation and how best to begin this chapter.