Farming in Harmony with the Countryside -
by Frank Tisdall MA AgrB DPA From "Agriculture in Northen Ireland"
An environmentally friendly approach to farming is the hallmark
of a well run beef and sheep farm in County Fermanagh. Advantage
has also been taken of the farm's ideal location, on a hill, close
to Enniskillen surrounded by very attractive landscape features,
to develop a successful farm guesthouse diversification.
Policy on the Weir farm is to farm in harmony with nature and a
lot has been done to maintain and enhance the environment. There
are a number of woodland areas on the farm which have been grazed
in the past. Most of these have now been fenced off to exclude stock,
thus allowing the trees to regenerate naturally.
In addition, some interplanting has been carried out, using a range
of shade tolerant species, including beech.
A few lines from the poet W.B. Yeats suggest how trees add to the
beauty of the countryside :-
"The trees are in their autumn beauty, the woodland paths
are dry, under the October twilight the water mirrors a still sky."
The farm has a number of interesting historical features including
a crannog, tree ring, stone stile and stone gateposts.
Crannogs are artificially constructed island dwellings which were
used for defence between the fourth and tenth centuries and they
are quite common, especially in small lakes.
Tree rings are imitation raths formed and planted in the last century
with financial assistance from the Royal Dublin Horticultural Society.
The farm is within the West Fermanagh and Erne Lakeland Environmentally
Sensitive Area (E.S.A).
After they got married in 1991, Clive and his wife Sharon decided
to develop part of their farm buildings as guest accommodation.
There are now four bedrooms, each with en-suite facilities. The
venture has proved to be very successful as the farm is ideally
situated on the main Belfast road leading to Enniskillen, which
is a main tourist route.
A unique feature of the guest facilities is a pathway which has
been developed through some of the mature woodland near the farmhouse.
This is ideal for studying and identifying different tree species,
and is much appreciated by guests.