Monday, 25 July 2022

Annual Bilberry Sunday walk

The annual Bilberry Sunday walk takes place on 31st July 2022 in association with Crúthu Arts Festival. Join us for some or all of the celebrations: 


Meet at Ardagh GAA Pitch and follow our local guide and wealth of knowledge Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Village Landscapes along the Brí Leith Walk. We will be accompanied by our local Celtic Re-enactors Clann Chorr and Scéalta Beo storytellers.

1pm (ish)

Everyone is welcome to picnic in the garden of the Neighbourhood Park at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre. Don't forget to bring your picnic blankets and picnic!


Our special guest this year is Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland who will give a talk about the important connections between Brí Léith (Ardagh) and Newgrange as they are found in the romantic tale Tochmarc Étaín (the Wooing of Étaín).

Anthony has been studying the mythology of the Brú na Bóinne complex for over 20 years and has found some fascinating material in the old stories. He is an author, tour guide and photographer from Drogheda. He has published nine books inspired by the mythology and archaeology of the great prehistoric monuments of the Boyne Valley. In 2018, he discovered the remains of a giant late Neolithic henge close to Newgrange. He curates the Mythical Ireland website and social media channels and broadcasts a weekly livestream. He has appeared as an expert on the Boyne Valley on the History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery Science and Channel 4.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Heritage in Schools bookings

We are delighted to now be taking bookings for visits to schools through the Heritage in Schools scheme. Between February and June Ann or Annette can come to your school and guide you and your students through one of our fun-filled, interactive heritage workshop sessions. The scheme aims to raise awareness and to help children and their teachers appreciate their local heritage by engaging with it in a meaningful way. Place-based learning in the outdoor classroom is also encouraged.

Visits are part-funded by the Heritage Council so the cost to the school for a full day with a heritage specialist is only €100 (€60 for DEIS schools) and half day visits are €60 (€40 for DEIS schools). If you book the same specialist for 5 sessions the 5th visit is free for the school.

Contact us at to arrange a date in advance, then book your visit through the Heritage in Schools website.

Storytelling and Mythology

Scéalta Beo come in Celtic costume and have props and visual aids to enhance their storytelling. Mythology and storytelling helped our ancestors understand and deal with crisis, which makes them very important tools in this era of climate change. We tell many of the ancient stories of the Tuatha Dé Dannan our favourite being the local legend of Midir and Etain. Midir was known as a judge and given the task of restoring the balance which is very relevant to the times we live in.


Life in the Iron Age

Interactive practical activities, discussions and stories combine to demonstrate what life was like in Iron Age/Early Medieval Ireland. The session(s) can cover aspects of society and every day activities: buildings, clothing, jewellery and metalwork, food, biodiversity, games such as fidchell, weaving, foraging, natural dyeing, Brehon Laws including the importance of trees, fire festivals and ogham script.


Exploring your Townland

Discover all you need to research and explore your townland: delve into its history, find out the meaning of its name and look at local built and natural heritage close up. Using this as inspiration create your own art or writing based on what you learn.



Biodiversity in the school garden 

Whether you want to design a vegetable garden from scratch, develop sensory areas, get guidance for the Biodiversity Green Flag or just look closely at native trees, mini-beasts or animal habitats around your school, Scéalta Beo can help you explore and creatively interact with the outdoor learning environment, getting hands-on experience and connecting with the living stories all around us.;

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Samhain at Corlea

We had a wonderful day storytelling in Corlea Trackway Centre recently as part of their Samhain celebrations. We got to entertain the crowd with tales of Samhain past and present and of course we told them all about Midir, keeper of the Veil between this world and the Otherworld. He comes from Brí Leith in Ardagh, and he made the Bog Road in Corlea. We also included the story of his Cranes of In-hospitality, along with warnings about the Púca spitting on fruit at this time of year and how to avoid being taken for a long, scary ride. Everyone wailed like a banshee and listened to how to identify other creatures of Samhain who we later met on the walk to Mosstown Harbour.  

We also talked of life in our crannóg, surrounded by our protection circle of Rowan, Mugwort, Yarrow and Marshmallow, and met some of the characters from Midir and Etain, An Táin and Diarmuid and Gráinne which all have Samhain connections. 

Our horse disguised as the Púca travelled all the way from Ardagh to Mosstown too, we hope he didn't take anyone along on his back.

We look forward to more adventures with Clann Chorr in the future.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Seed, plant and story swap

As part of the Restoring the Balance project for Heritage Week we held a seed, plant and story swap event on Sunday 22nd August 2021. The event coincided with the 10th Anniversary of Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre and was the first in person event since February 2020. A lovely, entertaining afternoon was had and this video captures a few moments from the event. Thank you to all who attended from near and far and shared their knowledge, stories, plants and seeds.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Forest Gardens

This is the eighth video in the Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week. It takes a look at what makes a forest garden, or food forest, such an abundant, productive and beautiful place. 

Friday, 20 August 2021

Pond life

The seventh video in the Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week looks at the importance of garden pond habitats for increasing biodiversity. 

Video footage and graphics by Annette Corkery.

Celebrate the hawthorn tree

There are many myths and folktales associated with the hawthorn tree, which looks amazing in full bloom in hedgerows in May and June. This sixth video in the Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week is a call to celebrate it as our national tree. 

Written and narrated by Ann Gerety Smyth. Video by Annette Corkery 

#HeritageWeek2021 #openthedoortoheritage #restoringthebalance #celebratehawthorn #longfordheritage #ardagh

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Let's talk about weeds

In this fifth video in the Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week 2021, we share a few of the benefits of what are often called weeds and how re-wilding can increase the biodiversity and resilience of your garden. Find out more about re-wilding and how it can save the planet on 

Written and narrated by Ann Gerety Smyth. Filmed by Ann Gerety Smyth and Annette Corkery.


Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Counting our chickens

This is the fourth video in the Restoring the Balance Series for Heritage Week. Written, narrated and filmed by Ann Gerety Smyth of Scéalta Beo, it gives an insight into keeping chickens and ducks.

Monday, 16 August 2021

A very brief introduction to Permaculture

Permaculture is a design approach that works with nature. Watch the video to find out more.


In April and May 2021 Annette of Scéalta Beo had the chance to participate in the Permaculture Design Certificate at the wonderful Carraig Dulra in Co. Wicklow. 

It was an amazing experience and the course which covered a really wide range of topics is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in local food, sustainable living, nutrition, gardening, natural building, rewilding and so much more. This video is the third in the Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week. It is a very brief summary of Permaculture and features some footage from Annette's garden and its inhabitants. 


Video footage and graphics by Annette Corkery.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Pat Kelleher's Kale

This is the second video of our Restoring the Balance series for Heritage Week 2021. Today we share Pat Kelleher's Kale. This heirloom kale has been growing in Pat's garden for generations. Last year he shared some plants with us and we now have seed ready to share. Watch how we saved the seed and get a glimpse at Pat's wonderful vegetable garden. If you have a living story to share get in touch with us at

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Heritage Week 2021

We are delighted to be involved in National Heritage Week again this year. We will be uploading videos to this page all week: Restoring the Balance

The first video (below) in the series features Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco Gardens talking about his grandfather's Golden Osiers. Enjoy!

We are also looking forward to celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre with the first in person event since March 2020 on Sunday 22nd August. This Seed, plant and story swap is an outdoor event in accordance with Covid restrictions. Please dress for the weather!

Friday, 6 August 2021

Heritage Week 2021 - Restoring the Balance with Scéalta Beo

Fadó, fadó Midir was tasked by Eochaidh with creating a road over the bog. Eochaidh did not keep his end of the bargain and sent out a spy to watch the spectacle. Midir then built a deliberate fault in the road, so it wouldn't last. 

This story had been told orally for centuries before being written down by the monks who carefully recorded The Wooing of Etain in Lebor na hUidre and the Yellow Book of Lecan in the 12th and 15th Centuries. 

The road in question was uncovered in the early 1980s at Corlea, near Kenagh, Co. Longford. Constructed in 148AD it was found to have lasted a very short time, around ten years, before sinking back into the bog which preserved it. 

One theory is that it had a ceremonial use and so was needed only for enough time to fulfill its purpose. The people of the time experienced many years of failed crops and hunger, brought about by climate change, so drastic action was needed. Back then this involved a huge community effort, getting together to cut down the 100s of oak and birch trees needed to make the road, cutting, shaping and transporting them into place, before sacrificing their king to appease the gods and restore balance to nature and food abundance to the people. 

Throughout history there have been other times when nature was out of balance requiring drastic measures. Now, with climate disasters making headlines we need action again. We can feel helpless when faced with global problems, but solutions may be found closer to home in our natural heritage. 

We need community effort to plant trees, re-wild areas, add biodiversity and work with nature instead of against her. Time is running out to restore abundance and benefit all life. We can start with our own gardens. 

This Heritage Week Scéalta Beo will show what we’ve been doing in a series of videos including some of the following: attracting pollinators, foraging in the garden, food forests, pond life, saving seeds, growing vegetables, keeping chickens and embracing weeds. 

We are starting a collection of living stories: local plant heritage and lore. Pat Kelleher will share the story of the kale that has been growing for generations in his garden. He gave us plants last year and we have saved seeds to share at our in person event. Brendan Farrell will tell us of his grandfather’s golden osiers. We will have cuttings later in the year. 

We would like your help to gather more living stories. Have you had an encounter with a frog? Are you re-wilding land? Have you a tree in your field for generations? Is your family growing vegetables together? Whatever your story, we would love to hear it. Get in touch to share it: 

If you would like to tell us your story in person or have some seeds or chemical-free plants to swap come along to the 10th Anniversary event at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre:

22nd August: 2pm-4pm

Plant, seed and story swap

We have been busy collecting seeds and growing plants to share. We are giving away seeds including Pat Kelleher's Kale in the hope that people will grow their own. We encourage you to bring chemical-free plants and seeds to swap. We'll use what we get in return in our gardens and keep seed to share next year. The aim is to build connections, biodiversity, and keep heritage seeds in circulation. This helps local food resilience and hopefully saves some rare heirloom varieties for the future.

The story collection is a very important element. Scéalta Beo means living stories and we hope to educate and inspire, as well tapping into and storing some vital knowledge, plant lore and memories for future generations. We want to encourage people to garden with nature instead of against it and save the planet while we're at it. Come along to start restoring the balance.

This event will be outdoors and held in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions. 

Feel free to bring your own refreshments or picnic, but remember to leave no trace.