Chris O'Dell

Photograph Archive

Barley Cove - West Cork

Barley Cove - West Cork
Barley Cove, West Cork

Barley Cove is situated on the south side of the distant Mizen Head peninsula in West Cork.  It is common practice in these parts to set fire to large areas of scrub and furze in order to clear it.  This has little effect on the usefulness of the land so treated, but has an immense effect on the wildlife and natural vegetation.  It costs large amounts in terms of damage to property, to trees, fences and power and telephone lines, and puts our fire crews into unneccesary danger.  Despite endless protests our enfeebled government continually gives in to farmers' lobbying and vested interests, and ignores the massive damage and the  shame it brings upon us as a 21st century nation, supposedly comitted to  the improvement of our  environment.
This photograph shows
vividly the huge amount of smoke caused by these fires, almost obliterating the sun.  The embers of these fires will smoulder for days.  Visitors are frequently shocked when they see the scale of the destruction and ask how it can be allowed. The fires destroy countless insects and bird nesting sites.  They leave large tracts of blackened landscape that take several years to recover.  There is supposed to be a cut-off date of March 31st.  Our farmers persist inignoring this limit, and although it is illegal to start fires after this date, no proscutions have ever been implemented.  One presumes that it will take a major accident with loss of life for anyone to sit up and take notice.  Only a total ban on this practice followed by prosecutions and large fines will change the attitude of landowners and farmers; hit them in their pockets, where it hurts.

Camera Nikon FM2 35mm Nikkor.

Exhibition prints of this and all other photographs on this site are available size A2 on Permajet Distinction Fine Art paper 325gsm price €100 including packing and posrtage to all parts of the world.  Send email here with title of image and I will invoice you via PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account, you can pay with major credit/debit cards).

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