Coole Park has a rich cultural heritage as the former home of Lady Augusta Gregory and the centre of the Irish Literary Revival. Its present status as a nature reserve is due to the global importance of its extensive wetland system and woodland which borders it. To celebrate both these aspects of Coole there will be two free events during the last weekend in May.
Lady Gregory passed away 85 years ago in the early hours of the morning of May 23, 1932 at her home in Coole. To mark this occasion there will be a guided walk on Saturday May 27 illustrating her extraordinary life and her many achievements as co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, folklorist, translator, playwright, mother, grandmother, and patron of the arts.
Biodiversity Week at Coole will culminate in a family event on Sunday May 28 focusing on the restoration of woodland. There will be information and art activities to encourage visitors of all ages to appreciate the areas of regeneration following the felling of mature conifers in 2014/15. These conifers were the remains of the commercial forestry planted after the acquisition of Coole by the State. Now, as a nature reserve, the aim is to allow the natural regeneration of native species.
Visitors will be encouraged to look at what has grown in the area since the conifer clearance and the positive effect this has had on the diversity of insects, birds, and mammals of the nature reserve.
Both events will start from the visitor centre at 3pm and will last approximately an hour and a half. Please note dogs are not permitted at these events except for guide dogs.
Coole visitor centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm, admission is free. Last admission is at 4.45pm. There is a charming self-guiding exhibition based on the book Me and Nu written by Lady Gregory’s granddaughter Ann, describing her childhood at Coole. There is also a 30 minute audio visual on the life of Lady Gregory and the history of Coole Park.
The tea rooms are open daily serving delicious home baking and hot lunches.
The park closes to vehicles at 7.30pm.
To contact the visitor centre phone 091 631804 or email [email protected].