Opening Address
"I am simply highlighting the fact that legislation alone will
not solve the problems we have in managing our landscape.
Landscape is too diverse, too complex for a simple legislative
fix, there are too many players, each of them nibbling or biting
at the landscape and the end result is the cumulative effect of
many actions, big and small."

Terry O'Regan

European Legislation, the Protector of the Irish

"I think the national authorities ought to display an
enthusiastic willingness to apply and enforce that
which is already provided for in the existing European
legislative framework in relation to dimensions of

Dr. Sara Dillon

The Ireland Land Trust
"One of the significant attributes of the Land Trust
arrangement is that it is a voluntary process - the
farmers come to the process and work with the Land
Trust and agree to the imposition of certain
restrictions on the farm that will prevent future

William Roper
Managing Landscape Quality within the Existing
Legislative Framework

"Spatial planning . . . recognises that economic, social
and cultural activities interact with land to shape our
space and proactively interacting with the
management and development of these activities is
very much a part of managing landscape quality
" . . .at the operational level I believe we have to
expand considerably on the traditional development
control system and incorporate a much more flexible
proactive, integrated management of the landscape in
its broadest sense"
Gaye Moynihan   
Holistic Landscape Management in Ireland
"Holistic approaches call for balance between the
different forces at play in the landscape and also call
for environmental considerations to be integrated with
the different sectoral policies. This can also be
considered as an attempt to integrate conservation and
development at the landscape level."
Ferris Jay   
Sustainability in the Irish Context
"Mankind and the Landscape are 'Us'. The
Sustainability concept helps us to address the false
duality in this respect. We begin to develop not a
singular, but a richly layered perspective on our
surroundings and on our place in that context."
Brian Rogers   
Landscape Character Assessment In
Northern Ireland

"Every part of the countryside has its particular assets
and its own value to the local people. Each area has
its own identity and it is through people recognising
that identity of local areas that they come to
appreciate and understand their landscape."
Joyce McCormick    
Teaching A Design Process As Youth

" .the programme seeks to weave together the
strands of basic design, self knowledge, environmental
awareness, conflict resolution skills, community
building skills, intercultural communications and the
most positive, powerful, basic and lasting of any
motivational factors: spirituality."
Erik van Lennep Hyland   
Et In Arcadia Ego
"The outer landscape was mapped and charted between
the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries - even into the
furthest regions of the heavens. The inner landscape
has opened up in this century to the un-ordained
through secular enquiry into the realm of
Des Gunning   
Feng Shui In The Landscape
"The quality of that chi is something really important
and there are many ways of ensuring that that chi is of
high quality and can create health. Good quality chi
provides us with a healthy environment, and there are
certain aspects that will interfere with that chi."
Anne Walsh  
Landscape Quality, SACs, NHAs, and SPAs
[Designations] " .are dedicated for nature
conservation and directly they can achieve major
conservation objectives, - if they can achieve other
benefits in other spheres or for the community as a
whole that is incidental to their primary purpose, but it
doesn't by any means mean that they are
Alan Craig   
Proposals For A National Heritage Plan
"The scope of the plan has been further defined to
include both the cultural and the natural landscapes,
. those of you here who have a keen interest in the
environment and the heritage are invited and
encouraged to make any submissions which you may
have which would influence the development of the
National Heritage Plan."
Kevin T. O'Connor
Native Plant Material As A Commercial Crop
"The industry has the potential of breeding and
multiplying new cultivars of native species for our
town and country gardens to combine the visual
impact of plants in a given location with the necessity
for more use of indigenous plant species.
Pat Fitzgerald
Lifestyle, Co2 And Profound Landscape Change
"Excess carbon dioxide emissions arise from the
burning of fossil fuels . Some of the consequences we
have are big temperature rises which are going to have
a massive impact on flora and fauna. The range of
species we have now is likely to change quite rapidly.
Species cannot adapt to this pace of change in
temperature and may become extinct or be displaced."
Andy Frew  
Overtaking Landscape In The Fast Lane
"Look at a landscape, understand the rhythms that have
brought it there, understand how our rhythms will
affect it and from that we can get change, we can get
development, we can get growth, that is in keeping
with that landscape and we stop trying to hold them as
they have never been."
Andrew Croft   
The Future Of Landscape Alliance Ireland
"My love of landscape and my passion for what's
happening has come from my childhood years, because
a child can sit and form the impression in its totality.
The child will sit in front of a stream of ants going
across the ground and he will watch it for hours and
he will watch them carrying the eggs if he lifts up the
stone and will watch them having to move them all".
Terry O'Regan
Towards a More Sustainable Environment in Microcosm - in your own Backyard
"Do we plunder our landscape in an attempt to fill our
gardens with misplaced natural features? Dredge the
lakes and seashores for sand? Deplete the rainforest
so we can sit on hardwood chairs? Plunder the bogs
for peat for our acid loving plants?"
Thomasina O'Neill Harmon   
Landscape, an Experiential Guide
"We need to find our fear and our pain, find the spaces
where we are throwing out the hurt that we don't
understand and expecting our environment to reflect it
back. This is a responsibility that each of us have
because each of us as individuals stand as part of a
Pippa Pemberton   
The Assault on our Footpaths/Pavements by
"In 1992 the village of Glanmire near Cork, was once
and for all divested of its through traffic by a network
of new roads that were second to none as regards
engineering excellence. Yet parked vehicles lording it
over Glanmire's fissured and ruptured pavement bear
witness to the ever-continuing down-grading of the
pedestrian to the status of a grudgingly tolerated
component of this traffic scene."
Karel Bacik   
Access to the Landscape
"Good idea, let's make a garden for the blind! Let's
make it smell nice! Let's make it tactile, with different
types of plants they can touch! It's like creating a zoo!
It's like creating another kind of institution! Let's just
put the blind away because they can't cope with the
environment! I would say, instead of creating the
sensuous garden for the blind, let's create a sensuous
environment for us all to live in."
Dr. John Olley   
What is Sustainability in Terms of Landscape Quality?
" .one way of describing it is to look at the adage that
goes that the land and the landscape are the same.
Landscape in French means 'wise land' so that actually
combines the object and the subject, the person that
sees the landscape and the object itself. Landscape is
what we project onto the land."
Mansil Miller   
Irish Stone Walls
"Our history is written in stone, and by understanding
what we have, how and why it was initially created,
we learn of its value, and how best we can repair and
maintain it for future generations to study and enjoy."
Patrick McAfee   
Repairing and Matching Existing Finishes on Old
Walls, Houses and Outbuildings

"Stripping renders (external plasters) and exposing
stonework: An absolute mania in Ireland at present:
"the cult of the naked stone worshippers". Often the
stone exposed is poor quality - field stone or rough
rubble. Furthermore it is often poorly laid, as the
mason would have known it was to be rendered - and
therefore would have built it "rough and ready", not
Conor Rush   

Irish Placenames
"By their very nature, place names are inextricably tied
up with the landscape, not only the rural landscape,
but also our more and more urbanised landscape. The
naming of the landscape is a continuum with new
names being formed all the time and some older names
falling out of use, the place names of any given area
will therefore date from different periods."

Donal McGiolla Easpaig
Taobh Tire 2000
"Somehow there is a disconnection and the
disconnection is reinforced by our education system
which never addresses the problem of local design and
so on. We don't have that element in our education
curriculum in Ireland. While we might have very
worthy things about the ozone layer and the
Amazonian forests, we have very little about our own places."
Fidelma Mullane
Post Industrialism and the Pastoral Idyll
"I started thinking a lot about paths and the idea of
paths and this is my first thought which is just to cut a
path through grass, it seems to be a quite civilised
accommodation between the demands of nature and
culture in that you don't have that deadness of green
mood empathy and you don't have on the other hand
maybe what other people might see as scruffy or
inconvenient tangles of grass, twisting your ankle or
your trousers getting soaked or whatever, this is an
elegant accommodation between those two nearly
always conflicting demands."
Blaise Drummond
Landscape Perspectives of a West of Ireland Farmer
"It is fast becoming a reality that we have had enough!
We have little more to give, maybe there is a little left
to take from us and now we come to the sheep. Ah
those sheep! These four-legged lawnmowers, the very
epitome of destruction! They are out there in their
millions. Somebody is counting them, but he is
counting them very wrongly. We are removing four
hundred thousand sheep from the hills, and there will
be no over-grazing, there will be no animals, there
could possibly be no people."
Joe Rafferty
Geomantic Energies and New Construction
"Drombeg is an active and powerful sacred site. For
me, the energy lines have a similarity to acupuncture
meridians in the human body. The energy associated
with sites such as Drombeg form the larger energy
lines of the country's system."
Stephanie Bolton
Playgrounds and the Landscape
" .once the importance of playgrounds is recognised
as being beneficial on a large scale to a society and
playgrounds are regarded as a valuable asset to a
community rather than a liability. Then funding and
resources can be allocated, while legislation is
introduced to prevent the abuse of a public amenity
due to the prevailing compensation claims."
Milia Tsaoussis Maddock
Art and Nature: Inseparable in the Conscious and Subconscious
"I am not pessimistic. I see humans as being capable of
more good things than bad things and I see the great
achievements in the arts as one of the most exciting
things that happened in the universe. Spiders don't
write sonnets and whales don't write operas, but we do."
Francis Carr
Ballymun Regeneration Project
"I arrived here this afternoon in the middle of the
presentation before last where the speaker was
concentrating on small playgrounds and the intimate
details of the landscape as regards playgrounds. The
next speaker then produced slides showing the world
from outer space. The scale of our project is
somewhere between the two."
Mick McDonagh
Achill Island - Temporary Art Works Relating to the Built Environment and Culture
" .she [Anne Henderson] used mirrors on a lake to
reflect the light . The male hand and female hand
symbolising the sharing of labour is a way of
representing the relationship between nutrition, crafts
and skills of the island people and the landscape which
they worked by hand .This stone had a lot of
significance in local culture and Ursula was
researching a path that she thought existed, folk tales
of it existed in the local village."
John McHugh 

Art 'n' Landscape, Landscape 'n' Art
" .it was very important that it would be temporary,
as my childhood was temporary, and I did not want to
change the landscape in any way, I wanted it to be a
part of the landscape and to return it to the

Fiona Butler

" .I and seven other installation artists and sculptors
took over the building for about two months and made
various installations. There was an opening night
when 1,500 people came along and since that evening
the local artists have come together and it has been
turned into a Culture Centre."

Antoin O'hEocha
"The ancient alchemists thought of the square, being a
quaternity, as a totality symbol. For them having four
corners signifies the earth, whereas the circular form
is attributed to the spirit."

Conor Byrne
"I believe that landscape exists not only above ground,
but is also hidden far below it . Finding a piece of
worked flint and knowing that the last hand to touch it
was five thousand or so years ago gives one a very
strong connection to the landscape."

Gail Ritchie
"In recording the landscape as it is, not as we would
wish it to be seen, I am searching for a way of relating
to the land which does not involve the imposition of
Romantic values or aesthetics, and hope, in recording
these scenes encountered during a search for
wilderness, to find a way of coming to terms with the
inevitable despoliation of it."

Rosemary Canavan
World Landscape Lecture
The Role of Public Art in Ireland

"It does not seem to occur to the mass of people that the
landscape of a country is in many ways as much a
human creation as cities and towns are"
Brian Fallon 
Bats in the Irish Landscape
"However, until as recently as the last century bats
were rarely documented, despite the fact that many
bats must have been sharing their homes with great
writers and historians . . . Since humans first arrived
on Irish shores around nine thousand years ago they
have been sharing the landscape with bats. However,
untail as recently as the last century bats were rarely
documented, despite the fact that many bats must have
been sharing their homes with great writers and historians."

Dr. Niamh Roche 
Heritage Under Threat on Land and Sea
" .she is now the last of her type in the world, this
Tory Island cow, these cows conform to this
characteristic, a shorthorn type with forward-pointing
horns a bit like a viking's helmet. It's a very attractive
animal, certainly more characteristic of Ireland than a
donkey on a post-card which is an import from Asia
and doesn't belong in this climate at all."
Brendan Price
Birds as an Indicator of Environmental Quality
"Of all the faunal groups, wild birds are the most
useful indicators of environmental quality - because
they are numerous and easy to see; and there are many
different species, all with their own very specific
habitat requirements and their own tolerance limits."
Cóilín MacLochlainn
Castlebridge House Conservatory
"The circular, tiered plant-stand inside the
conservatory is unique. I have never seen one
anywhere else, and indeed the idea of a conservatory
doubling as a plant case and porte-cochere is also
unique in Ireland and throughout Britain. I am sure
that you know it was designed and built by Pierce of
Wexford, so it is all that much more precious to you
and the people of Wexford "
Jim Cowman
Konavle Restoration Project in Croatia
"The reconstruction process had already started and
we were just able to stop it on two houses that were not
residential properties but museum houses, because the
government solution was to put concrete flats, like
these into those houses. That was very unfortunate for
the houses themselves as buildings, and also for the
identity of the whole region because all of the houses
previously had wooden beam construction inside so the
whole interior is changed now in all the houses that
were burned down except those two that we made a
special project of for re-use and reconstruction."
Tamara Rogic and Bruno Diklic
The Perceived Image of Forestry in Wicklow and Leitrim
"Preferences of the public do not always concur with
national forestry development objectives, so there is
aneed somehow for conflict resolution. We have to
meet half-way and on that point I would say that
additional research is ongoing to establish not only
'what' people like or dislike, but also 'why' they like or
dislike it."
Tomás O'Leary 
Forestry, Landscape Planning and Design
"As far as landscape is concerned, forests need not be a
problem, but rather can be a major attribute for
landscape enhancement and a medium for an aesthetic
experience of nature. It is important to rise to the
challenge by developing forestry in Ireland in a way
that is decisively proactive."
Art McCormack
Woodland Landscapes Around Galway
" .woodlands form an important part of the Irish
landscape both now and in the past for reasons of
recreation, contribution to landscape, personal
reasons, and for environment and nature conservation
and history. The public would like to see more
woodland, especially of broadleaves, and they prefer
to see them in a variety of ages and species".
Sasha van der Sleesen
Selling the Landscape to the Garden Centre Customer
"I believe a huge opportunity now exists for plant
centres with a holistic approach to garden retailing.
A new tradition that sees a garden as being a living,
breathing, integral part of our landscape."
Stiofán Nutty
The Role of Conservation in Modern Ireland
"we were on a field trip recently to Louisa Bridge just
along the railway line and along the canal between
Maynooth and Dublin and it ended with about a half
an hour's argument between all of us about whether
S.A.C.s actually afford any real legal protection at the
Billy Flynn
Forests Redesigned by Coillte
"Wicklow has been planted in plantation forestry
since 1920s so it is a very well established industry
there. There's a lot of employment in the industry and
it is the most diversely planted county in Ireland, and I
think that is a very important thing for the future that
we have all got to get greater diversity in the forest, in
Leitrim unfortunately when planting began, it was seen
as perhaps as being the best county for Sitka Spruce in
the whole world"
Sean Hayes
Flexible Silvicultural Systems
"When we clear-fell the conifers the natural
recolonisation depends on what the original native
species were, whether it was Birch or Oak or
whatever. You are going to get an invasion of
broadleaf in this rotation, and again in the second
rotation this would be more strongly broadleaf, in
some cases if this is predominantly Birch the whole site
could be converted to Birch, if and when the conifers
are clear-felled there could be another rotation so it
could actually become 100% broadleaf in 40 years
Joe Gowran
More Substance, Less Subsidy!
"What is driving the bull-dozing of the ditches, what
they call tidying up the farm, the cutting of trees,
making them all into big fields? The pressure,
pressure, pressure is subsidy. I know I am probably
committing heresy by saying this, but subsidy is
destroying the farming community and it is destroying
the countryside."
Johnny Couchman
County Galway Farmers' Attitudes to the REPS
Scheme and Nature Conservation

" .we see that Environmentally Friendly Farming is
primarily associated with day-to-day farming activities
such as fertiliser spreading and prevention of pollution.
On the other hand, from the previous question, you can
see that nature conservation is perceived to be
something different."
Tina Aughney
Report on a Survey of Local Authority Urban
Tree Management in the Republic of Ireland
"[The Survey found that] 74% of local authoritiess
were involved in up to three distinct areas of
community involvement. The most frequently stated
were the distribution of free trees, community tree
planting schemes and tree-related activities with
school children. Only one local authority had
established a tree warden or similar scheme, even
though these can be invaluable vehicles for many
different aspects of community involvement."
Mark Johnston and
Kevin Collins
Export Records as Indicators of Landscape Structural Organisation in the 15th and 16th Century
"regarding the tudor clearance of woodland. The fact
of the matter is that there is ample evidence not least
documentary, but pollen analysis as well I am told,
that in fact there was massive clearance. What
happened was, the land was cleared, partly by way of
asset stripping, partly to meet the demands of the
colony's new plantation, and partly by way of normal
commercial activity and of course for strategic reasons
as well."
A. F.O'Brien   
Woodlands for West Cork!
" .the survey highlighted the fragmentation and
fragility of these woodlands since a small wood which
has become isolated as an ecological island is in
danger of being unable to regenerate. Many of the
smaller woods identified are in fact dying woods.
However, the overall trend in West Cork is towards a
marginal increase in the quantity of woodland over
that shown on the Ordnance Survey Maps from the last
century, although there is a general decrease in quality
with more scrub woodland and less climax woodland".
Tony Cohu  
The Proposed Heritage Council Process to Identify the Policies and Priorities for Ireland's Landscape
"I suggest that what we all want to work towards is a
policy which not only protects, but enhances those
landscapes and will involve all elements of the
community. It is interesting to see the cross-section of
community interests that were represented throughout
the three days here, - all elements of our community in
the very long-lasting and truly sustainable
development and management practices that influence
the landscape."
Michael Starrett   
Political Party Representatives
"A national landscape policy backed up by primary
legislation is one of the principle means of dealing
with the range of issues arising in relation to our
landscape in an integrated and comprehensive way."
Trevor Sargent T.D
"I do believe that we must forget about any differences
that there are between political parties and move
forward to ensure that we have a proper and effective
National Landscape Policy in the future."
Senator: Jim Gibbons
"I think it's important that landscape policy informs
the whole range of policy formation in the country, and
therefore I think it would be important to introduce the
concept of landscape proofing in relation to the
framing of legislation and the production of policies
generally in the public area in much the same way for
example that gender proofing was introduced as a
concept very successfully in relation to policy
formation in that area."
Eamonn Gilmore T.D.

Concluding Remarks
"The Landscape Forum is a genuine Forum in the true
sense of the word, working in the service of the whole
concept of landscape quality."

Terry O'Regan

List of Participants
Exhibitions at Landscape Forum '98

The Web Woven - Vernacular Irish
Architecture Considered

Brian Rogers
Landscape Policy, The Legislative Framework -
Final Report on L.A.I. Survey
Landscape Alliance


The quotations that appear at the end of each contribution were selected by
the Editor to complement or counterpoint the preceding text.

"Many as are the political jealousies among the Irish, there are few true natives
of the soil who would not resent any charge of coldness or indifference to the
welfare of their country, or of wilful ignorance upon the subject of her history or
antiquities, which might be urged against them.

Yet most of our travelled countrymen are better acquainted with the appearance
of the Rhine than with that of the Shannon; with the windings of the Thames
than with those of the Boyne; their knowledge of these Irish rivers being
probably just so much as may be acquired out of a school geography, while they have steamed down the Thames, and visited the chief points along the Rhine.

We may venture to say that in like manner there are, even among our Tipperary
gentry, many better skilled in the fortifications of the Rock of Gibralter, than in
the exquisite monuments of ancient Irish piety and art remaining upon the Rock
of Cashel, in their own country; many who, in England, Scotland, Wales, and
upon the continent, have sought mountain air and scenery, when the Galtees, the Reeks, and the sublime range of the Mourne mountains, have never cost them a thought.

It must be granted that Ireland, - though generally rich in every point attractive
to the tourist, whether the mere pleasure seeker or artist, antiquary or geologist,
- has generally been described by bookmakers as a country wherein, if indeed a
man might pass in safety, he would still suffer so much from want of
accommodation, etc., that, unless he possessed some presence of mind, and a
considerable taste for the ridiculous, his time and talents had better be employed elsewhere. These writers were, almost without exception, strangers to the country, men whose knowledge of the Irish, previous to their visit, appears to
have been derived from the stage, whereon it was, and perhaps still is, the
fashion to represent us as marvellously fond of fighting, drinking, bulls,
blunders, and superstition."

William F. Wakeman,
'A Handbook of Irish Antiquities', Dublin, 1847


The Turning Point is based on the Proceedings of
The Fourth National Landscape Forum
St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
16th/17th/18th September 1998

Edited by Terry O'Regan

Copyright c 2000 Landscape Alliance Ireland
& individual authors

The opinions expressed in each contribution are those of the individual author.
Errors and omissions brought to our attention will be corrected in the next
publication of Irish Landscape Forum

Published by Landscape Alliance Ireland,
Old Abbey Gardens, Waterfall, Cork, Ireland.