Elsewhere in West Cork it might be years since you’ve seen an old bedstead as part of a fence, but at An Sanctoir, Ballydehob such bygones have been reassembled into cheerful caricatures pointing out the route of The 2015 Sculpture Trail. A huge willow dragon has recently emerged from her nest and is now sunning herself in a nearby meadow; the Nessie-like monster is 40-foot-long and woven from willows, hazels and dogwood harvested at An Sanctoir. Nests of all shapes and sizes adorn the trees and a 10-foot-high delicately moving mirrored seahorse ‘swims’ gracefully through the treetops.
On another part of the walk, you will be able to walk through a prehistoric looking giant maze figure, white against the spring grass. The sculptures emerging from the hedgerows are in preparation for the 2015 Sculpture Trail getting underway at An Sanctoir, Ballydehob. The Sculpture Trail was hugely popular last year with people of all ages and walks of life, is a great feature for Ballydehob on the Wild Atlantic Way and is created by local artist Wendy Miles, whose varied and quirky art work is found throughout the trail. The walk also exhibits work by other West Cork artists such as Paul Lidbetter, whose carved wooden dragonfly overlooks a lake famous locally for its dragonfly population.
The meandering trail is just under a mile long, through the 20-year-old nature reserve of An Sanctoir, ancient old farmyard tracks lead down to Dragonfly Lake, a riverside woodland walk, mountain path, tiny feilds and meadows, all surrounded by stunning views of the surrounding West Cork countryside, as well as unusual distant views of the village of Ballydehob.
The Sculpture Trail opens on June 13 and 14, €5 admittance, children free, 12 till 7pm, with a cafe and homebaked refreshments available on the day. Last year’s trail was a really popular family day out, with walkers and picnickers of all ages eagerly looking for and discovering sculptures and installations en route. An Sanctoir is one mile from Ballydehob, on the main N71 Bantry road, all welcome, waterproof footwear is recommended.