The Owenashad river walk has been a traditional walk used by the people of Lismore for many generations.However in recent years it has become overgrown and unsafe underfoot. The river bank has also become eroded in places due to the natural flow of the river and occassional flooding.
As a voluntary group Lismore Tidy Towns has always worked to protect and conserve the natural and built environment.Our work on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity has resulted in Lismore winning two Regional Biodversity and Notice Nature Awards in the National Tidy Towns Competition. Most of this work was carried out at the start of the refurbished walk at an area known locally as the Strand, eg planting of an area with a mixture of meadow grasses and wildflower seeds, erecting bird and bat boxes,planting native hazel trees,creation of log and stone heaps,conservation of a 19th century flood wall and the eradication of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed, Rhododendron and Winter Heliotrope.
Having completed that project it was decided to undertake a project to make the Spring woodland walk at the other end of the Strand more accessable and safer for townspeople and visitors and to help them enjoy this area of natural beauty. Work on this project commenced on Monday 28th May and to date there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from the community. The project involves the old walkway being resurfaced, post and rail fencing will be put up for safety, some fallen trees removed and some appropriate information signage will be erected. A wide range of plants grow in this area for example, Lismore blue anenome, wild garlic, cowparsley,pignut,wood speedwell, wood anemone, lords and ladies, great woodrush, toothwort and 4 species of fern. The aim of the Lismore Tidy Towns group with the refurbishment work is and will be to protect all of those species for the present and future generations of people in Lismore and its environs and into the future to develop this area as part of a biodiversity trail of the town.
The National Park and Wildlife Services were consulted, an application was made to this agency outlining the proposed project and an official letter of approval was received from the N.P.W.S. on 26th January 2012. Work on the refurbishment of the riverside walk started on Monday 28th May and all of the work is, and will be carried out with strict adherence to the detailed application approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Services. All care was and is being taken to ensure the protection of this important woodland environment.