If you go down to the woods today beware of………. the RAVENEOUS BEAST!.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David Healy opened Fingal Libraries Ardgillan Story Trail on Saturday 12th June on the occasion of Cruinniú na nÓg which is Creative Ireland‘s free day of Creative Activity for Children and Young Adults.
The Fingal Libraries, Ardgillan Story Trail features local author, illustrator and former Children’s Laureate, Niamh Sharkey’s, exciting and colourful storybook The Ravenous Beast creates an outdoor, free and self-guided family experience that combines creativity, literacy and exercise in a fun and interactive way. As part of the Storytrail project, Niamh also gifted us an original online reading of the book, colouring pages and drawalong which can now be found on our website here.
In an important aspect of the project, 1000 volumes of the Ravenous Beast have been gifted to children across Fingal and in particular to local schools in Balbriggan, Skerries, Balrothery and Rush. This will ensure that many children get access to the world of reading and stories and encourage them in a lifetime love of reading and stories.
The story trail which takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete was enjoyed by over 200 children and their families following its opening Saturday. On the day each child was gifted with copy of the Ravenous Beast, a library book bag and a goodie box supplied by Brambles and they got to see the Ravenous beast up close.
It is with thanks to Fingal County Council Operations Department, who worked closely with the Libraries department on the Story Trails location design and installation, that this unique and exciting family experience is now permanent addition to the award winning Ardgillan Castle & Demesne.
Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy commented “I was delighted to visit and open Ardgillan Story trail as part of Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday. The wonderful trail, which brings the Ravenous Beast story to life, proved hugely popular on the day and I am know it will continue to entertain and inspire young visitors to Argillan into the future. Tá sé tábhachtach freisin go bhfuil na comharthaí as Béarla agus Gaeilge araon. Tá Roinn na Leabharlann s'againne i bhFine Gall ag leanúint go maith i dtreo seirbhís dhátheangach, le béim speisíalta ar an aos óg”
County Librarian Betty Boardman said “The Fingal Libraries, Ardgillan Story Trail brings local author Niamh Sharkey’s wonderful storybook The Ravenous Beast to life in a fun and magical way for children. We were delighted that so many children experienced the trail on the opening day and received copies of Niamh’s book to enjoy and share. With library services curtailed earlier in the year because of COVID, this was a real celebratory event bringing the library outdoors and encouraging children to read for fun.”
Emer O’Gorman, Director of Economic Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development Department said “The opening of Fingal Libraries, Ardgillan Story Trail, as part of Fingal County Councils Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 programme, is a unique and exciting addition to the many attractions available to visitors of th Ardgillan Castle & Demesne. The combination of reading, exercise and fun is a great way to get families outdoors and to spark the imagination and curiosity in young children. I am delighted that the Ardgillan Story Walk is now a permanent feature within the park and know that this creative and innovative idea will be enjoyed by families for many years to come.”
Ardgillan Demesne is a fantastic public amenity that already boasts an extensive list of visitor attractions such as Castle tours, spectacular views, Forest Walks & Fairy trails, a spectacular Children’s Playground, beautifully manicured Rose and Walled gardens, four Brambles Eateries, dog friendly walking areas and much more.
For Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 Fingal Library Services also provided Totem and Wigwam workshops with Wicklow Willow which are available to view on Libraries Youtube channel, coding and podcasting workshops, a workshop on incredible invertebrates in partnership with Dublin Zoo and provided Sensory gift packs to children Neurodiverse needs.