Category: News

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.



Our new group space An Scioból – The Haybarn Hub

An Scioból – The Haybarn Hub

For several years we have been hatching an idea that we could create a space where guests could gather in a shared space for social and business purposes.  In recent years we have also held workshops for entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives and we  are now proud to announce that An Scioból – The Haybarn Hub, is complete and offers a fantastic space for group workshops, away days, festive gatherings etc.  Together with our cottages,  it allows us to build on our Rural Retreat philosophy that has been central to our business since its inception.  Situated close to the cottages, we can offer a unique and special place or venue for away days, think-ins or simply space for larger groups to chill and relax.

We have repurposed an old hay barn space and, thanks to local builders and craftspeople, we have turned it into a really cosy spot with hi-speed wifi, large screen Smart TV, flexible seating and tables and facilities for refreshments.  Guests can also access the sauna, use our bikes, enjoy our walks and immerse themselves in a rural space designed to encourage team building, creative thinking, brainstorming, replenishment and self development.  

As a professional trainer and coach, Niall Heenan Training  can design bespoke training and coaching  interventions designed for staff teams who wish to reconnect, engage and optimise performance.  Other trainers and coaches who may wish to use our facilities for their own events are also welcome.

We love our place and we hope you do too!

 

30 Years of Hospitality

Niall & Inez Heenan celebrating 30 Years in Tourism and Hospitality; 1992–2022

When we opened our new home to guests at Eastertime 1992, we did so full of the excitement of creating our own hospitality business offering guests the type of experience that we would like to receive ourselves.  With Tir na Fiuise Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast we set out to offer an opportunity to enjoy a ‘Real Rural Retreat’ where we provided the best of our own and local produce. We became renowned for our extensive breakfast menu and after a couple of seasons we began to feature in various guidebooks such as Karen Brown’s Guides to Ireland and John and Sally McKennas 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland, and won awards such as ‘Ireland’s Best Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast in Munster. old B&B business card

 

Fuchsia Lane Farm Holiday Cottages, Terryglass, Co.Tipperary

In 1998 we changed our offering to providing self catering accommodation and that has grown to our current business Fuchsia Lane Farm Holiday Cottages.  Our core vision of offering a ‘Real Rural Retreat’ is still at the heart of what we do, and when guests are here we encourage them to enjoy the unique aspects that can be found here. 

 

Self-Catering Flexibilityour first self catering card

Over the years, our guests have enjoyed how our product has developed, and has found a wonderful niche in this beautiful part of rural Co. Tipperary in the centre of Ireland. Returning guests have enjoyed extended family celebrations, as we can cater for up to 20 guests with our 4 cottages; a ‘workation’ combining our accommodation with an idyllic workspace with internet access; a family holiday; a couple’s getaway; an action-packed exercise break with yoga!

‘Live like a local’ at Fuchsia Lane Farm

We have farm walks, a sauna, bikes to cycle on the country lanes, produce from our garden and the opportunity to ‘live like a local’ where you will meet our welcoming family and a friendly, local community in Terryglass village, local towns of Portumna, Borrisokane, Nenagh and Birr. You can swim, fish and kayak at Lough derg, hike in the Slieve Bloom and Silvermine Mountains; golf locally at Portumna, Nenagh, Roscrea and Birr.

Sustainable Rural Tourism

Connecting with this local community is an important element in any sustainable rural tourism enterprise and with this in mind we always encourage our guests to avail of the services and amenities that exist locally and beyond. Local pubs, restaurants, food businesses, attractions and amenities are all central to the visitor experience, where we can all enjoy. Our work in this area was acknowledged in our receiving a Gold Medal  award in the Irish Responsible Travel Awards in  2016.

So as we continue and evolve along why not  Come, stay and celebrate with us in 2022!   Niall & Inez