Joe Mahon gets his walking boots on for the next episode of UTV series “Mahon’s Way”, where he explores two well-known hills in Belfast, learning about the preservation and protection of one, and the history, ancient and more recent, of the other.
Joe’s first climb is in Carnmoney, and he’s being guided through this ancient woodland on the slope of a steep-sided hill by Rosie Irwin of the Woodland Trust. She tells him all about the different flowers that are on the woodland floor – wood anemone, lesser celandine and the occasional bluebell. Rosie explains why the hazel trees have grown to their unusual shape, and Joe reaches the top of the hill, not just to take in the breath-taking expansive view of North Belfast below, but also to help Rosie plant some young hazel saplings or ‘whips’.
Rosie also talks of the importance of involving the local community in their work to preserve and protect the woodland that surrounds them.
After a short breather, Joe heads towards Belfast and to iconic Cavehill. However, he chooses to explore the side of the hill that people don’t see when standing in Belfast. Joe meets up with fellow broadcaster Cormac Hamill who shows him evidence of several thousand years of human settlement on this hill, including ringforts, stone cashels and limestone quarries.
We also hear a story of two rows of tiny cottages that went by the charming names of ‘Mammystown’ and ‘Daddystown’, and the families who lived there.
Mahon’s Way is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV and is sponsored by ‘Mid & East Antrim – A Place Shaped by Sea & Stone.’ You can watch this episode on Monday 9th August at 8pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes .