I was out walking along the River Dodder on two separate occasions last weekend, enjoying the lovely sunny weather. At times, it was just like summer; on reflection, it was probably better. On Saturday I took part in the Dodder Heritage Walk, organised the Dodder Action Group, joining forces with the Dodder Let’s Walk and Talk group. I wasn’t counting heads, but according to Dodder Action’s Facebook page, around a hundred people turned out to support the event. Architectural historian Rob Goodbody led the Heritage Walk with Tim Clabon from the Irish Wildlife Trust, strolling from Rathfarnham Bridge down towards the Packhorse Bridge in Miltown.
Most days find me walking either along or near the Dodder but there is still much that I don’t know about the river’s life and history. Thanks to Tim Clabon, I now know the name of the pink flowering plant proliferating along the riverbank as well as learning something about identifying otter hangouts. The flower by the way is a Himalayan Balsam and is actually an invasive species, although a very pretty one. Tim explained about otter slides, where otters gained access to the water and showed us one. You have to be up very early to catch your otter, and probably very quiet too so we didn’t stand much chance of seeing one on Saturday afternoon. It would however be worth getting up early to spot one, now that I have some idea of where to look. Continue reading