Winter Woodland Walk, Through Paths That Recall Love That's Lost.
Coillte's owns about 7% of the land in Ireland, and Coillte's core purpose is to enrich lives locally, nationally and globally through the innovative and sustainable management of natural resources. After a small bit of political coaxing from local Sinn Fein councillor Thérèse Ruane, and the late Minister for state Shane McEntee, Coillte have opened a new forest walkway on the periphery of Raheens estate, just a few miles outside Castlebar.
They say some people can't see the wood from the trees. There are tree things that stand out from the wood in these trees. The first is the old house, the second is the cenotaph, and the third is the view of the reek. The house was once home to the Browne family. It was site to the Castlebar rock festival back in the 70's. A canal runs behind the house. The Canal links Lough Annagh with Bilberry. I've sailed it a few times in the past, looking for elusive wild trout.
There is a car park on the Newport road, and the woodland walk is about 1 mile total.
There is a great view of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick on the south western horizon.
According to Coillte the forest is mainly at the free growing stage with crops planted between mid-eighties and mid-nineties. Sitka Spruce covers over 70% of the planted area supplemented with LPS, Japenese Larch and about 10% Hardwoods.
Coillte Web Site
I discovered these usual mid-winter flowers during my stroll. Apparently they are edible. I remember Brother Donal, used to tell us that everything is edible. He preached you can eat anything, whether it kills you or not is a different story. Brother Donal was a great lover of Irish flora and fauna. So in his honour as a small gratitude for teaching me some science, I did some research on these strage looking plants and according to Wikipedia I reckon these are "scarlet elf cups" or officially "Sarcoscypha coccinea".
There is very little I can say about the Raheens Cenotaph that can do it justice. The Mayo Historical and Archaeological Society do a much better job at summarising the significance of this Cenotaph MHAS.
It's a moving monument to the loss of true love. I know a closet romantic laticho who made his own private cenotaph. He fashioned this personal memorial with a roll of masking tape and a dirty old deluge of Valentine cards that he used to get every February. On one the side it says "the women of this town treated me cruelly."