Mark Horton from The Rivers Trust tells us how there…
Stories from the Waterside – a unique collection of short stories celebrating Ireland’s waterbodies
Stories from the Waterside is a unique collection of short stories celebrating individual connections with Ireland’s rivers, lakes and beaches. These stories are the winners of a national story writing competition held in April and May during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This book has the winning stories and several others that were shortlisted. It has been launched to mark Water Heritage Day Sunday 23 August, the last day of National Heritage Week 2020.
Water Heritage Day is an opportunity to celebrate water, both as a precious natural resource and part of our heritage.
The competition was organised by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) in partnership with The Heritage Council, the Heritage Officers Programme, Waterways Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The competition was a resounding success with almost 500 entries from across the island of Ireland in both English and Irish.
This selection of short pieces from the ‘Stories from the Waterside’ competition vividly reveals that our relationship to our local rivers, lakes, ponds, shorelines and canals are rich, intense and diverse.
For many writers, memories of a waterbody conjure up stories of lost and dreamy childhood freedoms, when time stretches and where anxieties fall away, freedoms that too few children enjoy today.
Fishing is a recurrent theme, sometimes expressing ecology’s key insight, that the abundance of any one species depends on the health of its whole interlinked habitat.
Other writers remind us of the social and economic importance of water, that clean water comes from community stewardship of complex ecosystems, not from taps.
For many, spending time near water and the places it lies and runs has healing, liberating powers, sometimes experienced through fascination with plant and animal species, sometimes in a more holistic way.
Welcome to these stories from the waterside! – Paddy Wordworth
The booklet is available to download for free from www.watersandcommunities.ie/stories-from-the-waterside