Thursday, 22 April 2010

Ballycastle and the Atlantic Salt Trail

Click images to enlarge

Will the various salt workings between Ballycastle [pdf file] and Fair Head become part of the Atlantic Salt Trail? That is the great hope and expectation of local historian, Danny McGill.

Prof Mark Brisbane, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University and David Cranstone of Cranstone Consultants are part of a consortium which sought INTERREG funding for an 'Atlantic Salt Trail' running from Portugal to Scotland. David seems fairly convinced that Ballycastle stands a strong chance of making it onto the Trail.

Work on the project will begin in May and Mark, in correspondence with Danny, has indicated that the plan is to create 'a database (2010 and 2011) and then a heritage trail (2012). The intention is to include both archaeology/history/heritage and ecology, the latter looking into the range of biodiversity that these salt working sites contain and incorporating elements of that into the Trail as well'.

These salt working sites lie within the Ballycastle Coalfields ASSI [pdf file] and so the guardians of our natural, built and industrial heritage will probably now be paying closer attention to construction work being carried out adjacent to one of these ancient industrial sites. The Trail would obviously be an important tourism asset alongside the Giants Causeway World Heritage Site and Carrickarede Rope Bridge.

The construction work is being carried out at Coalyard Cottage, also formerly known as Ca the Coals and Old Salt Pans. The Danny McGill sketch of two piers and a cross pier is based on the location of post holes.

The supply channel carrying sea water into the bucket pot lies just to the right/east of these piers. As you can see, this channel is now partially blocked by boulders.

The bucket pot is tucked just underneath the north-east corner of the coalyard site.

Ecosal Atlantis Newsletter, December 2010