The Hedgerow Walk starts in The Forge Carpark and is a gentle walk around the native hedgerows of the Forge. We keep the grass mowed to ensure a leisurely walk without disturbing the hedges or wildlife. So if you need to stretch your legs after lunch, see take a breather from your car journey or have children who love to explore come along to the Forge and take the Hedgerow Walk.
Slí na Sceacha is a local community initiative to raise awareness among young and old alike about the amazing diversity of wildlife that lives in our oft overlooked hedgerows. Our hedgerow heritage is a unique artifact of settlement patterns that have shaped our landscape for hundreds of years and as such contain stories spanning generations.
Equipped with an interpretative guide that can be purchased (for a nominal fee of 50c) you can at your leisure take a walk around the meadow adjoining The Forge – taking in the various points of interest. The guide was put together by Ballon Improvement Group and Glor Bhalana in association with Paul Coulter of Altamont Gardens. The video below was filmed and edited by Michael Martin of www.ballonvillage.com fame.
Heritage Week event 2012: Hedge School at Slí na Sceach, The Forge, Kilbride.
Ballon Improvement Group and Ghlór Bhalana marked Heritage Week 2012 with a very novel event held at the Forge Restaurant and Walk Way on Saturday last August 25th 2012. The event was bi-lingual.
A 19th CenturyHedgeSchool (Scoil Scairta) was recreated at The Forge and children from the locality were invited to attend and travel back in time to the 1840s in Ireland. The children were dressed in clothes typical of the period and arrived to the HedgeSchool barefoot, without school bags, writing materials or books.
The class was led by the Hedge School Mháistreás Bríd Ní Fhiannaí from Myshall who did a wonderful job recreating the atmosphere of an now ancient way of life. Slates with charcoal were used instead of pencil and paper, fern leaves doubled up as a latter day abacus, stones helped the pupils to tap out the beat of the music, old strands of wool were put to use to make home made dolls and teddies.
Bríd brought the children on a grand tour of the Walk Way/ Sli Na Sceach at the Forge pointing out the many traditional trees and plants and gathering blackberries on the way.
A shower of rain forced the HedgeSchool into a nearby natural shelter provided by birch trees that have formed a cave like structure. The School Day was shortened by the clever and entertaining story telling skills of Bríd who had no difficulty holding the attention of her pupils teaching them how to ‘shorten the road’ !
A survey carried out in 1824 revealed there were 9,300 Hedge Schools in Ireland at that time with approximately 400,000 students in attendance.