Preservation, Protection and Renewal
As custodians of Clonalis House we look forward every March to seeing the appearance of the first green shoots of Spring and the arrival of new calves on the farm. Every year work on the farm, woodlands and gardens varies according to the seasons.
We are lucky to have the River Suck flowing from the west through the estate and to the north of Clonalis you will find a stream which as it flows onward becomes the Francis River. Both rivers shape the landscape and ecology of the surrounding hinterland. Importantly the rivers, the surrounding meadows and the woodlands provide shelter and food for a fascinating population of wildlife which includes red squirrels, foxes, hares, badgers and pine martins. In the river crayfish and Eels have been spotted alongside a variety of fish. We have also recently heard for the first time ever a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the woodlands.
The trees in the parkland have been planted by many generations of O’Conors where they stand tall and majestic, a visual example of Nature’s architecture. It is said that the older the tree becomes the more vital to wildlife it becomes. The parkland surrounding Clonalis House itself was planned and planted by Owen O Conor Don over a hundred years ago in 1918 he said “this week I planted trees in the Clonalis parkland . I do this not for myself for I shall die long before their maturity but the generations who will follow me”. Unfortunately, every year we see more of the majestic trees succumbing to age so our project for this Spring is to replant the parkland and expand the native woodlands. We have planted lime trees copper beeches, chestnuts and oak trees. We are endeavouring to continue the work started by Owen O Conor Don in his same spirit.
Shortly we will be embarking on the replanting of native woodlands. The root systems of the young trees will soon bind the land reduce erosion attract insects and provide shelter for a more diverse mix of wildlife.
The landscape around Clonalis has a delicate ecosystem and we are mindful of all areas, even if some areas appear to be neglected, they are being left to nature to improve biodiversity and to give nature the opportunity to take charge.
We are happy to share nature’s miracle with those who wish to enjoy The Suck Valley way walk through some of our woodland.
Carol-Anne & Marguerite O’Conor Nash