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Copper Coast Geopark

 

Introduction:

The Copper Coast comprises five independent communities working together, each developing its own resources but are collectively in 2004-'06 developing joint infrastructural development and presentation with European INTERREG IIIB and IIIC funding. Adding to a common set of interpretative pamphlets will be an interactive DVD explaining the evolution of the Coast-line. Stills from this will interpret what visitors are looking at from various viewing points along the coast.

 

The existing geological garden is being up-graded to further enhance the understanding of visitors as to the geological forces that created the Copper Coast. A new centre is also being created at the engine house complex which served the 19th century copper mines from which the Geopark deprives its name. Not only is the mining history being interpreted but its geological and mineralogical context as well. A spiral staircase within the main building will bring visitors through geological time to a panorama of the present landscape with cliffs stretching into the distance against the backdrop of the Commeragh Mountains. The following are the amenities and current features developed by each of the communities:

  • Fenor has opened up its bog with an elevated walkway plus interpretative panels of the flora and fauna to be found there. Here also is the Copper Coast Mini-farm with its rare domestic animals plus some exotics. To its south is the island-fringed beach at Kilfarrasy encompassing a wide range of geological and morphological features, (photo up right).
  • Annestown-Dunhill has a dramatic medieval castle and church owned by the community plus a major ecological wetland scheme along its tranquil river Ann. Annestown, as well as being a pretty village with a nice beach, also boasts one of the largest sea-arches in Ireland (photo above).
  • Boatstrand to Bunmahon, besides having harbour and beaches, has a geological garden beside the tidal river Mahon, as well as a Heritage Centre with emphasis on mining. Bunmahon also has a Blue Flag beach with striking geological effects on either side nearby. Dramatically sited on the cliff-top road to its east is the 19th century mine engine complex which is being preserved and presented. Stradbally, a strikingly pretty village, was European Entente Florale gold medal winner in 2003. Its various antiquities include the remains of a medieval church with tower-house, and an 18th century lime kiln. The cliff fringed Ballydwan beach lies east of here (photo left) and its own cove is unique in its tidal range and in the river that runs beside the beach. The central feature of the village is the large geological sundial created in 2002.

 

 

 

 

Originally founded as "Fenor to Stradbally Tourism" as a community tourism group in 1997. It had at first been envisaged as the tourism development arm ofDFBA community group, but it was soon realised that the whole coast between Tramore and Dungarvan made a more natural geographical unit. Also from a purely historical point of view, Bonmahon's mining history was very important.

 

Co. Waterford is a collaboration of everything that Ireland has to offer, from mountains to sea, from city to village, from ticking-clock pub to a lively traditional session. The road between Tramore and Dungarvan passes through six small villages and shows off glorious views of towering cliffs, sandy coves and caves, all against the brooding backdrop of the Comeragh mountains - This is the Copper Coast.

This is an area which richly rewards time spent in exploration. As well as the rugged coastline with its string of little coves, caves and harbours you can visit, in the surrounding area, forests, rivers, bogs and lakes or search out historical sites and monuments dating back as far as 5000 years. Naturally, geologically, archaeologically fascinating; also just a really nice place to be. So stay awhile, ask around and discover the Copper Coast. You are very welcome.

The Copper Coast, with its rugged cliffs and rocks, sand and pebbles is a little like an illustrated geology book; a wander along any of the coves and beaches, studying the endless variety in the make-up of the cliffs, the off-shore rocks, the caves and arches shows us evidence of great upheavals and scarcely imaginable movements in the past. So far there is very little text to this book but now this area has become a Geopark and has joined a European network of Geoparks and over the next two or three years the 'pictures' will be given words of explanation on information boards and in pamphlets and in many other ways so that everyone can begin to know and understand what they are looking at.

 

Copper Coast Geopark Ltd
Margaret Cosgrave
Knockmahon Lodge
Bunmahon,
County Waterford, Ireland
Tel: 00353-51-292828
Fax: 00353-51-292820
Email: info@coppercoastgeopark.com
http://www.coppercoastgeopark.com

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