Delighted to see that the Morehen's are thinking of expanding the family again and building a new nest.
How ever , as you can see in the photos below , its attracting some attention
Delighted to see that the single moorehen and her one chick we noticed earlier in the week , has now being joined by another moorehen and now between them both there are seven chicks on a stretch of the canal
check out the video we got of them earlier in the month here
Athy Rowing and Canoeing Club (ARC) will be on the streets of Athy tomorrow, Saturday 4th, holding their annual collection day. All funds collected will assist in providing access to the sports for the people of South Kildare and further afield. This includes equipment, training and insurance. In addition, the club helps to maintain the stretch of Athy Waterways from Rathstewart to Ardreigh. This includes litter picking, landscaping and the development of the stretch for all users. Funds raised will assist greatly with these undertakings also. If you are in Athy tomorrow, any financial assistance you can give to the club would be gratefully received and welcomed. Many thanks. Cliff Reid ( Chairman ARC) http://www.athyrowingcanoeing.com/
Athy Takes barrow awards
Athy secured the Top Spot at the Barrow Awards held recently at the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow. The Awards which covers the length of the Barrow from its source in the Slieve Blooms to the tidal waters of New Ross is an initiative by the County Councils of Laois, Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford, in conjunction with Waterways Ireland. Held yearly, it seeks to promote and enhance the natural resources of the river. While there were several awards on the night for various categories, Athy beat off the competition from all counties to take first place and secure the coveted over all title as Winner 2013. The application which was made on behalf of the town by the North Barrow branch of the Inland Waterways Association (IWAI) highlighted many of the initiatives undertaken locally over the past year that resulted in increased usage and development of the town’s waterways. Some of the undertakings mentioned on the night included; the production and distribution of 3,000 brochures throughout the country highlighting Athy’s Waterways, the maintenance of riverside walkways and the clearing off & restoration of the old graveyard wall on the Canal bank at Cardington.
In addition to receiving the award, the North Barrow branch of the IWAI were also awarded €1000 to assist with their efforts. From their prize fund, the North Barrow branch have kindly donated €200 each to the Tidy Towns Committee and Athy Rowing & Canoeing club in recognition of their efforts in maintaining the waterways. The remainder of the prize fund is earmarked for specific projects on the waterways including signage highlighting Athy’s facilities and further maintenance & painting works. Speaking on their plans for the coming year, Chairman Barry Keatley said “Our main objectives for the coming months include providing additional mooring posts below Whites Castle and installing freshwater & electricity facilities on the Jetty. This will involve the branch continuing to work very closely with Athy Town Council who have been very supportive of our endeavours in the past”.
In recent times, Athy’s Waterways have been transformed. Most evenings, the waterways around Athy plays host to Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking, Cycling, Rowing, Boating and many other activities. The Barrowline track is perfect for facilitating these activities along with catering for those just out to enjoy an evening stroll. Marketed through www.athywaterways.com and www.facebook.com/athywaterways , Athy has been successful over the past few months, in attracting eight boats to take up permanent residency in the town centre. In addition, it has been very successful in attracting tourists on cycling, hiking, canoeing and fishing holidays. Speaking at the Awards night, Cliff Reid PRO of the branch said “the Facebook page and website have been extremely successful so far. I’ve met with several visitors to the town that got in contact this way. While most have been from within the Republic, we have had a group of 16 canoeist form Northern Ireland, a group of 22 Hikers from Scotland wishing to walk the Barrow Way to St Mullin and a newly married couple from Germany over to cycle the Barrow Way also. Athy, at the meeting point of the Grand Canal and River Barrow is the starting point for those tackling the Barrow Way and we have sought to Market the town in this regard. While this initiative is only in its infancy, it clearly demonstrates town’s potential from a tourism perspective, if focused on the waterways and outdoor activities”.
Following their recent success, the North Barrow branch is to be honoured by the local Town Council with a civic reception in recognition of their community involvement and dedication to the promotion and development of the waterways.
It has been a busy summer for all in the North Barrow branch. Some great gaols have been achieved by the branch over the past few months, most of which have been done by partnering with other local organisations. For example, by teaming up with the local Rowing/Canoeing club and the local Fishing club, the Barrowline towpath is now maintained five days a week by a group of 12 people employed under the TUS scheme. Through this initiative, light maintenance such as grass cutting, hedge trimming and litter picking is carried out daily. This has resulted in the landscape around the waterways in Athy being dramatically transformed in recent times. In other news, the coming together of several south Kildare based agencies has resulted in a website specifically dedicated to those using the waterways has being established. www.athywaterways.com pulls together all the information that users of the waterways may need from the perspective of both locals and those visiting. While the website is still in its infancy, feedback would be greatly welcomed with regard to usability and what other informational needs visitors to the area may require. Any suggestions would be warmly received at firstname.lastname@example.org
Given that Athy is exempt for the new EMP mooring charge introduced by Waterways Ireland; several boats have now taken up a permanent residence in the town. Welcoming this, members of the North Barrow branch have installed new mooring posts on the west bank of the Barrow just below the main town bridge. While much work is still being carried out on these moorings to enhance the accessibility of the area, visitors failing to find a berth on the jetty are encouraged to moor here. It is also planned to secure another floating jetty for the west bank of the river in the near future. In this regard, the branch would like to hear from individuals or companies that can assist with this undertaking. Those that might be able to help are asked to contact Cliff Reid on 087-2061999.
While the branch is glad to report no incidences of vandalism or interference over the summer, members have been made aware of break-in’s happening in other locations throughout the country during this period. Therefore, a new CCTV system has been acquired for the floating jetty in Athy. It is hoped that this will further add to the security of the area and provide peace of mind to those leaving their vessels moored long-term. This was introduced in light of the fact that several boat owners using the jetty hail for counties such as Wicklow, Kilkenny and Laois; and therefore not always on-hand locally.
Branch members have also been busy networking with several agencies to enhance the use of the entire waterways stretch under their remit. To this end, a specific conference was hosted by Kildare County Council and Outdoor Tourism Kildare with the objective of bringing together stakeholders from across several agencies including Failte Ireland and Waterways Ireland, along with local groups representing all users of the waterways. This proved very successful and has resulted in strategic plans being established for the further development of the entire area.
Lastly, members of the North Barrow branch and several other waterways based stakeholders have formed a very active online community. Through the use of Facebook, the community shares ideas, experiences and suggestions in the hope that we will all benefit from the further development of our waterways. The online community is open to the public and everyone is welcome to participate. Members of IWAI that are on Facebook are very welcome to join us at www.facebook.com/athywaterways
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