After visiting Copenhagen in the last week and visiting their national museum to view the mythic relationship between people and wetlands I am again visiting the East Coast nature reserve in Newcastle Co Wicklow.
Much like the Danes, the Irish have a mythical and spiritual link to the bog and wetland. In Irish prehistory, The wetland represents a liminal link between this world and the next. The door to the world of the spirits is open here. Numerous archaeological finds indicate the spiritual link between realms. Swords and ritual objects have all been placed with ceremony in wetlands. Ritual sacrifice enacted and bodies placed in wetlands and discovered as Bog bodies in Ireland and Denmark. Countless generations of Irish saw wetlands as significant places in their cultural iconography. Even today Seamus Heaney writes of the omphalus of the world in his poem bogland.
I search the water edges for my favourite of mammals the otter. The elusiveness of the creature is refreshing today reminding me that it is a creature of the boundary, slipping from our sight into the boundless world of water and reed. The otter is defined by its abscene and mystery, by it's disregard of boundaries.
As I watch swans and ducks glide into view and out of sight amongst the tall elegant reeds and fish pop at the surface, I imagine the two worlds coalescing silently. The wetland is a magical place, hidden and secret. This is perhaps why it is vital to preserve these liminal spaces so we have access points to our own spiritual past.
The new marina in Greystones opened in 2013, however a planned development of apartments at the location hasn't gone ahead in our NAMA enabled times
The good news is that the patch of wasteland destined to be urbanised has been left fallow and nature has moved in.
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this exclusion zone as seen behind the marina area and examine what species have rewilded the old builders yard. The area has been fenced off from humans and (perhaps) predators and below are some of the species of plants that I have seen so far. A few garden escapees.