Ballin Temple offers access to an unusual world of nature: our river and woods.
These woods (approx 20 hectares) have been surveyed by the Nature Woodland Trust who have noted some unusual features:
toothwort, a parasitic plant which is rare outside ancient woods,
wild cherry estimated at over 150 years old,
sitings of wild deer and a host of flora in an unadulterated habitat.confirmed that they are probably "ancient" woods - not interferred with for over 600 years.
Ornithologists will be pleased with the range of resident and visiting birds including duck, cuckoo, owls, heron, swallows, various finches and tits and so on.
Part of the woods have been designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) by the National Heritage Service, Duchas. Our SAC, one of Carlow's few preserved areas, includes a two mile stretch of the River Slaney, where we offer fishing, and the woods along the bank, parts of which have not been interfered with for hundreds of years.
We are fortunate to have wonderful countryside around us.
The cycling, running and walking is magnificent. Walking or running is enjoyed by many in the gentle hills of Ballin Temple.
Some have even taken a dip in the Slaney.
But it is cold! (You can just make out David O'Grady, who hails from Quebec, Canada where he has met the chill waters of the St Laurence River. And we believe some tougher residents and visitors have enjoyed the Slaney Waters.)
For power cyclists, one can travel on the national roads to historic towns such as Bunclody, Kilkenny, Avoca and others, or even attempt the climb up Mount Leinster.
Alternatively, the country roads provide quiet and beautiful routes. Cyclists can even venture across country along bridle paths and other designated routes.
Horse riding may be arranged at local stables or we can suggest equestrian treks.
Some of the sites nearby include Huntingdon (Clonegal) Castle, Aghade church and bridge and Altamont House and Gardens. The closest towns are Ardattin, home to the cottage collection, and Clonegal (Huntingdon Castle), both within walking distance (1/2 - 1hour).
We have always adopted a responsible approach to land management and this has become more important as the pressure on our planet increases.
We were certified organic for a decade but sadly government charges and administration forced us to stop paying for that privilege. We remain sustainable and continue our organic approach in teh garden and fields. We avoid use of sprays and inorganic applcations. All our grassland is clean and productivity is maintained by lower rates of harvest and careful grass selection.
We continue to grow fruit and vegetables and have poultry running wild in the garden who allow us a few eggs.
Wide angle view of the 1 hectare unit early in the season (April).
You can find our about our experiences in the section Organic Garden. Our main production system is a low input, six plot organic horticultural rotation. Nature Club members are welcome to visit the farm and the secluded pleasure spots around the production unit by appointment.
Just visiting the farm is a revealing experience for most, especially during summer when everything is growing, but for those interested in organic techniques and sustainable estate management, please get in touch with Tom to make an appointment for training and advice.