Saturday, 11 April 2009

wildlife on the bogside

To The Bogside, Derry, Northern Ireland. The Bogside is the famous Catholic community that lies outside the walls of the City of Derry. It was the scene of the Bloody Sunday clash between Civil Rights protesters and the British Army in 1971 when 14 people died. The history of these sad times is documented on wall murals as pictured. This mural shows a boy wearing a gas mask and holding a petrol bomb. Happily, 'The Troubles' are behind us, and the spirit of the people we met was uplifting and always very friendly. We had a brilliant stay.

The community takes its name because it was sited on the bend of the River Foyle on the side of the bog. The soil is a dark peat, when you can spot it in this highly built up area.

Here, we have a bog garden in The Bogside. The houses often have small front gardens that are very difficult to do anything very
different with. As we walked through the estate, one small neglected garden caught my eye. It was full of Cuckoo Flower (cardamine pratensis) blooming incongruously in this urban setting.

So, The Bogside is not only a triumph of the human spirit, it is also a triumph (in this little front garden) of wildlife. It gives us a miniature snapshot of what the area would have looked like many hundreds of years before The Plantations, gerrymandering and the troubles.

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