Let me get to the point………….. Killowen Point that is!!

With a strong background in all things Environmental, I am always looking to understand the land and sea on this amazing planet. During my studies, I tended to focus on coastal landscapes as they appealed to me the most. This is probably because I grew up close to the shores of Carlingford Lough and was always finding a feature that astounded me. So, when I started to learn about the influences of wave action on the coastline I began identifying the reasons behind certain features found along Carlingford Lough.

Most people understand that beaches are formed due to the friction inflicted on the coastline by the waves and tides of the ocean. Not only is the shape of a beach influenced by the wave action, but the beach slope and sediment size are too. Where wave action is not as powerful, you would normally find larger sediment on the coastline like pebbles and this is what is typical along most of Carlingford Lough. Some areas of the Lough shores have sand but mostly it is shingle beach with lots of seaweed washing up along the highwater mark.

One of the features that always amazed me was Killowen Point, a place that I visited numerous times but was always impressed by. The point looks like a big arm extending into the Lough and it raises the question of how this can happen. I know that it is a simple process of erosion and deposition which is occurring constantly, but it still intrigues me. The tip of the point is submerged during high tide and can only be seen fully during low tide. I find it so interesting to see how the point will change over time, if I will easily notice changes to its length or shape.

I love that in the photo I took down at the waters edge, that you can see a perfect curvature of the high watermark, proving how special and unique our coastlines can be. On the same day I took a photo of the water as I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the water was at this location. Living around a harbour town notorious for a lot of shipping traffic, seaweed and mud, the waters mostly seem murky around Carlingford Lough, so this was a welcome new experience. The photo looking down on Killowen Point was taken along the slopes of Slieve Martin (Sliabh Mártain) which shows the Point in all its glory during low tide. From here you can see a lot of Carlingford Lough and you will start to notice that there are other land formations along the shores that mimic this one at Killowen Point, however they are all man-made. You can see piers and slipways on either side of the Lough but Killowen Point is a naturally occurring deposition of sediment over time which has created a permanent sandbank.

Over the centuries construction has occurred along coastlines worldwide to create promenades and walk ways and sadly it took a long time for the negative impacts of this to be recognised. But here, in Killowen, nature created her very own walkway towards Carlingford Lough for people to use and enjoy.

Who cares if it has been photographed a thousand times, it’s my time that counts!


If you are lucky enough to live close to or have visited the seaside town of Warrenpoint the above image is probably very familiar to you. This is The Flagstaff viewpoint which overlooks all of Carlingford Lough and Warrenpoint. For me, it is the most iconic view of my local area as I have grown up with Flagstaff paintings on my walls.

As it is an image that has been replicated rigorously I haven’t tried to photograph it before as I didn’t think it was possible to capture anything different to those before me. However, on this morning I ventured out to the viewpoint because Storm Hector was in full force and I thought that this might make for an interesting view from The Flagstaff. So of course, with weather warnings on the news I expected dark grey heavy skies over Carlingford Lough, but I was wrong. As I drove the narrow, winding, rising road towards my destination, the clouds broke and that amazing Irish sunshine came out. And yes, I am a typical Irish girl, so I got very excited because our sunshine never lasts too long so I knew I had to make the most if it.

When I reached the viewpoint, it was simply breath-taking, and what made it more special was that I was completely alone. I find it better to experience places when alone to really take it all in, so I was very lucky this time. Instantly I forgot about why I came there, I just wanted to run to the highest point to see as far and wide as possible. Although it was a similar view to what I have always seen, everything seemed different, the colours that I could see were more vivid. The blues were somehow bluer and the greens greener and I watched as the sea changed colours as the shadows of the clouds passed over. I love photography because a photo can give me so much inspiration but I am very glad that in this case I went to experience this view first hand and I found it extremely serene and beautiful.

One thing I learnt this day was that when it comes to Ireland the weather is never going to do what you want it to do!!

The most beautiful morning to spread the beautiful message of strength, togetherness and love.

carlingfordlough panorama

In the little hours of Saturday morning, I like many others walked the 5km route in aid of Pieta House and The Samaritans. I was surrounded by so many people who have been affected directly or indirectly by mental health including those who have sadly lost their loved ones. The sea of yellow t-shirts could only put a smile on your face encouraging love and hope to all.

At 4.15am in Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, speeches were made by the organisers, the ribbon was cut by a young fundraiser and we were off, into the pitch-black forest. We followed the pathway marked out by candlelight which led us along the Fairy Glen Trail and as instructed by the organisers, this first part of the journey was to be done in silence, for a time to reflect. This was filled with raw emotion as the people around me focused their thoughts on the true reason that brought all of us out that morning. Whether your reason to be there was for yourself or another, everyone stood together in grief and pain and it was in that moment that the birds started to sing.

It was like nothing I had experienced before, although I have never been in the forest that early in the morning. Maybe the birds sing that loudly every morning, but it truly felt like they were filling our silence with the only way they knew how. After a few minutes of the chirping, the trees started to thin out and light started to pour in and the next thing we were out of the forest and into the town. At this point of the journey, the silence broke and it was quickly replaced with laughter and chit chat between the walkers.

This was the first time that I had attended the Darkness into Light event and I am so glad that I decided to join this year and I hope to continue to be a supporter in the future. The words that kept being read out by the organisers focused on working together for the prevention of self-harm and suicide but more importantly to break the stigma of mental health. Without this stigma, conversations would develop and these vulnerable people may have the courage to talk to others and get the help that they need before it is too late for them.

My 10,000 Steps

Today, we live in what I like to call the fit-bit generation as more people than ever are interested in their day-to-day activities. I myself have fallen victim to the trend as well, often checking my steps, calories burned and heart rate. I set my daily goal for 10,000 steps, when I achieve this my tracker buzzes and I must admit as sad as it seems, it is extremely satisfying. This goal has only recently been achieved when I am buzzing around the busy café that I work in, but I am determined to change that and to ensure that more and more of my steps are taken into my beautiful natural surroundings instead.

With the need to get out and clear my mind, I arrived at Kilbroney forest park and started to ascend Slieve Martin. A place full of fond childhood memories, it makes a dull day seem much brighter. Today was gloomy and windy with a strong threat of rain which didn’t phase the numerous walkers and bikers that joined me amongst the trails the mountain has to offer.

For me, this forest brings pure serenity as I focus all my senses on her.

It is as if with each step all worries and woes began to disappear as all I could see and hear was the forest around me. Instead of worrying about money, my career and other people, I found myself looking up to the sky to watch the trees sway in the wind and let my mind go free. The wind rushed amongst the trees which towered above me like nature’s own skyscrapers. My footsteps were marked out in the mud and were surrounded by the beautiful spring flowers on the forest floor.

For the first time in a long time, I really felt awake but then maybe that was just the wind whipping my face. I haven’t been as active as I would have hoped lately but I didn’t expect to be so unfit. On the steepest part of the trail, my legs were crying out for a rest but my curiosity wouldn’t let me, so I pushed on and it was all worth it. There really is no better feeling than reaching a clearing in the forest so you can finally see how high you are and of course spot the beautiful Carlingford Lough below.

When I finally reached the infamous Cloughmore Stone, it was glorious, even though I have been there numerous times, its just as special each time. This spot boasts beautiful views of the Lough, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, but today I didn’t have much time to stay to appreciate this. It was when I reached this spot that I noticed the mist coming down the mountain towards me so I quickly made my way back down via the Cloughmore Trail.

On this day, it wasn’t the number of steps that I took that was important, it was where those steps took me.