Blackstairs Eco Trails, Blackstairs Eco Trails offer a range of experiences, from hillwalking, foraging workshops and Celtic tree trail. Their hill walking, bird watching and foraging have minimum impact as they use a no trace policy. They don’t pick wild flowers or disturb the wildlife, but they take photos and observe from a distance. Their ecotourism product is all about walking to help people get outdoors and to understand the benefits of walking. Blackstairs Eco Trails runs walks, workshops, wild food foraging days, fungi forays, celtic tree trails, team building events. and hen parties in their beautiful restored heritage barn. Organic food and wild food is their speciality and you can discover their gardens and woods outside in the wild. Come back and warm yourself by the wood burning stove, enjoy delicious healthy food and learn about the secret world of wild things. Mary White runs Blackstairs Ecotrails, an award-winning Eco-tourism business in the Blackstairs Mountains and the Barrow valley and is a walking guide, forager, flora and fauna specialist. Their Eco Tourism business shares a passion for the environment and developing a sustainable business in the heart of the Blackstairs maintains and have planted four hectares of broadleaf trees on their land which has a positive impact on the environment.
Blackstairs Eco trails Foraging Experience is a relaxing hands-on workshop, spending time in the woods, fields and hedgerows looking for wild safe foods. Suitable for all the family, find wild greens for salads in season and look for plants for seasoning, using seed heads, leaves and roots. Tips, recipes and information sheets are provided, enhancing our knowledge of the flora and fauna around our environment, hearing the birds cry overhead and being conscious of the changing seasons as they unroll. Everything that you find and cook up, you take home!
Blackstairs Eco Trails, Celtic Tree Trail, set in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East in South Co. Carlow, shows guests the world of the Celts and their reverence for Ireland’s native trees. Watch a 16-minute film showcasing who the Celts were and why they loved their trees. The Celts categorised groups of trees into Nobles, Commoners, Lower Divisions of the Wood and Bushes of the Wood. On the Celtic Tree Trail, you will find out the secrets of the trees and visit the Ogham Stone set in 5 acres of young Oak which tells its own story and how it was so closely related to the native trees of Ireland 2500 years ago. Visit the noble trees in the grounds of the Blackstairs rectory and listen to the stories of our forebears the Celts, stories of mystery, folklore, tradition and history on the Celtic Tree Trail.
The Wild Fungi Workshops are one of their most popular experiences and would need to be booked well in advance. A day spent in the woods looking for different types of wild mushrooms; some edible some not, some poisonous, others deadly. There is a lot to get to know in the woods, both coniferous and deciduous trees. Starting the day with tea and coffee and a brief introductory talk, illustrated with samples, and then off to a local wood or two, to see what you can find. After a couple of hours, you will return for a three-course organic lunch. After lunch you will identify everything you have found and if there are any edibles, you will be given the opportunity to cook them, baskets are provided and please wear appropriate outdoor clothing.
Blackstairs Eco Trails, have 4 beautiful Shepherds Huts in the gardens of their Old Rectory, 3 miles from Borris in Carlow. Guests use their state-of-the-art Eco Centre, kitchen & bathrooms for washing and cooking. breakfast is provided. Their accommodation has been certified under the Welcome Standard by Fáilte Ireland and they are a Gold accredited Eco Tourism Centre.