A mountain of experience behind new path at Sliabh Liag

first_imgA monumental project has been completed to offer a new experience to visitors at Sliabh Liag. Here, we find out about the extensive engineering behind the new path:When visitors walk the new upland path to Sliabh Liag, the towering sea cliffs in south Donegal, they walk across stones that came from another part of the hills, a few kilometres away.But that natural look does not come easy – it took a lot of work in extreme weather to get the job done. More than 160,000 people visit Sliabh Liag each year, and the new path is designed to ensure that they can enjoy the cliffs, while protecting the environment into the future.The new 2.5 kilometre stretch of upland path is a key element of the new €4.95 million Sliabh Liag Strategic Development Project, which includes a visitors centre and transportation hub, car parks, a ranger station, and enhanced roads access.The new path at Sliabh Liab which has been designed to ensure the protection of the unique landscape amid growing visitor numbers.The council also hope the path can serve as an example for similar works across Ireland and further afield.Drawing on expertise from McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltd, a firm based in Scotland with extensive upland experience, the council is the first local authority in the Republic of Ireland to undertake this type of mountain path works. “The quality is of a very high standard and will set the benchmark for other works that may be happening in the country,” Shaun Paul Murphy, Executive Engineer with the council, said.Ross McGowan, managing director of McGowan’s, was in Shanbally, outside Teelin, this week for the official opening. While the Donegal project offered challenges, McGowan’s experience meant they brought lessons learned in the Scottish hills to the work.Ross McGowan from McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltd who worked with Donegal County Council and the local community on the new path at Sliabh Liag designed to ensure the protection of the unique landscape amid growing visitor numbers.“We have three teams of five people in Scotland, so we have 15 people working all year-round doing mountain path work,” he said. “So it’s something that we do all the time.”McGowan tries to use local stone for paths, for their natural look. Here, the council and McGowan’s, in consultation with National Parks and Wildlife, agreed to use to stone from the scree slopes on the hillside at Sliabh Liag.But that meant weeks of careful selection by hand of hundreds of tons of suitable stones from the scree slopes. The new path at Sliabh Liab which has been designed to ensure the protection of the unique landscape amid growing visitor numbers.“Every single stone we picked was hand selected,” Ross said. The methodology for the work is quite sensitive and skilled, “and you really have to cover your tracks, so basically no one would know we’ve been there,” he said. They replaced stones in the scree with bits of moss and other stone to ensure no gaps were left.“Once we had that stone, and the right kind of stone, the job was made much more easy,” Ross said.Still, they had to contend with the weather. The lifting of stones to the path site was done by helicopter, and severe winds led to five airlifts being cancelled. There was hail and wind chill factors that brought temperatures well below zero. Still, McGowan crews lost just one day on site due to weather, working from October of 2017 to May of 2018.Ross credited the training and equipment they provide their crews. “It’s all about mindset and mentality, because you’re in an extreme environment,” he said. In a way, generations of Donegal people helped to determine the path route. James Kelly, Senior Executive Engineer with Donegal County Council, said the council provided McGowan with a corridor that followed the most heavily travelled path to the cliffs, one carved step by step over the years. That coincided with the area where the most erosion was taking place, and McGowan determined the final route within that corridor.The path creates a single, defined route through some difficult and steep sections. Ross explained that choosing a path line requires looking at ascent and descent. On the way down, people often have their heads down as well; most erosion takes place on the descent. Blocking stones have also been placed at strategic sites.“Paths are built to keep people on them,” Ross said. The work also includes stone drainage works to protect the path and reflect natural drainage.James said the council wanted to acknowledge the support of Fáilte Ireland, and particularly the contributions of Derek Walshe and Joan Crawford.He also wanted to thank local landowners for their cooperation, saying the project would not have been possible without them.“We’re grateful for the ongoing cooperation from those landowners during the whole construction process,” James said, noting in particular landowners in the townlands of Cappagh, Croaghlin, Shanbally, Ballymore, and Lergadaghtan.McGowan brought in the local community, council staff, and others, holding two days of training in the hills to demonstrate stone pitching for steeper stretches, aggregate path work on the flatter sections, and drainage and landscaping.“We’re always keen on community engagement,” Ross said. “We can use our expertise to build this, but we’re quite keen to pass that on to locals so that they can maintain it.” It’s a way of giving back to the community, he said.Acknowledging that there were lessons learned over the entire project, James said that the council has delivered a fine project to be enjoyed for generations to come.A mountain of experience behind new path at Sliabh Liag was last modified: May 15th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltdsliabh liaglast_img read more

Photos: The scoreboard at the Golden State Warriors’ Chase center is as big as a house

first_imgClick here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.Led by Golden State Warriors CEO and President Rick Welts, Bay Area media on Monday toured the mostly finished Chase Center, where the Warriors will tip off their new season with a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 5.The massive scoreboard — said to be the largest, by a considerable margin, in the NBA. The Chase scoreboard, developed by Samsung, is more than 9,699 square feet of screen space. The …last_img

Talking Plants and Secret Networks

first_img(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 There was a time when talking plants was mythology.  Now, it’s science.Hidden Messages in Plain SightPlants don’t speak English, obviously.  Somehow, though, they communicate through channels scientists are only beginning to understand.  No less than Science Magazine, the most respected journal in America, said this: “Shhh, the Plants are Talking.”  In the “Science Shot” article, reporter Andrew Porterfield described controlled experiments in Australia that showed chilis grow better when basil is nearby.  Somehow, the basil coaxes the chili plants through a hidden mechanism:Because light, touch, and chemical “smell” were ruled out, the team proposes that the finding points to a new type of communication between plants, possibly involving nanoscale sound waves, traveling through the dirt to bring encouraging “words” to the growing seeds. Understanding this novel communication could help growers boost crop yields and increase global food supplies. How neighborly.Live Science put it this way: “Even in the plant world, babies fail to thrive without a friendly community chattering nearby, according to a new study.”  We weren’t kidding about talking plants.  Reporter Becky Olson headlined her article, “Plants Talk: Seedlings Thrive with Encouraging ‘Words’.”The Underground Fungal RailroadMore evidence is arising that plants communicate throughout ecological communities through a network of fungal threads in the soil.  The fungi reward the plants for sharing nutrients by passing messages along, in a symbiotic relationship.  The BBC News featured more discoveries about the underground network, as did PhysOrg.  The BBC article claims that work in the UK is the first to show plant communication via the fungal railroad.The research appears to show that a bean plant under attack by aphids can send out a warning through the underground communication channels.  Plants getting the message set up defenses, but plants without the fungal network do not.  One of the researchers was delighted at this “abject surprise that it was just so powerful – just such a fantastic signalling system.”The BBC called this an “evolutionary role” for the fungus without explaining how a blind, purposeless process could discover any role in complex communications systems.Some day soon we may decipher the language of plants.  Here are some predictions.  Favorite joke: that some humans think the underground railroad evolved.  Favorite saint: Basil.  Weather report: Chili today and hot tamale.  Favorite pastime: sending intelligently designed signals.  Favorite cowboy line: Where never is heard a discouraging word.  Favorite hymn: Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.last_img read more

Jordy Smith: world surfing champ

first_img26 October 2006South Africa collected five medals to finish fourth out of 33 countries at the 2006 ISA World Surfing Games at Huntington Beach in California on the weekend, with Jordy Smith scoring a sensational victory in the men’s open division.Smith wasn’t South Africa’s only gold medal medal winner, either, with Matthew Moir emerging victorious in the longboard division.Rosanne Hodge secured a bronze in women’s competition, while the SA tag team picked up bronze behind Australia and Brazil.The team’s performance saw them being awarded the copper medal in the team event, with Australia winning for a record eighth time, followed by Brazil and the US.The stuff of legendSmith’s victory was the stuff of legend. Previously he had won the under-16 world title in 2003, and finished second in the under-18 division earlier this year in Brazil. At Huntington Beach, he was forced into the repechage rounds on the first day, where one slip would mean elimination.However, he fought his way through an incredible 10 rounds of competition, eliminating 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood along the way, as well as a number of World Championship Tour competitors.By the time it came to the final, there was no stopping Smith. Turning on the style, he crushed the challenges of Luke Stedman, Pat O’Connell and Armando Daltro with a high-flying display.“I’m really happy that I could do this for South Africa, my sponsors, all my friends and for myself,” Smith said afterwards. “It’s crazy to win a gold medal, it’s something you always dream of.”Dominating longboard victoryMoir’s gold in the longboard event was achieved with far greater ease as he dominated the competition from the start. Starting on the opening day, he recorded the highest scores, and from then on, through four rounds, he won by record scores each time out.Hodge had no problems reaching the qualifying final of the women’s event, but once there she managed only a third-place finish, which meant she would have to go through a repechage round to reach the grand final.Showing excellent poise and determination, she held off a strong challenge from two Australians to advance with the USA’s Julia Christian to the main event.In the final, Christian pulled off a home victory, narrowly ahead of Jacqueline Silva of Brazil, with Hodge finishing in third. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Dragon adorns 777

first_imgAir New Zealand has revealed Peter Jackson’s theatrical interpretation of the mythical Dragon Smaug exclusively to the world, ten days ahead of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.See video below.A Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the 54 metre (177 feet) long Dragon emblazoned on both sides was unveiled in Auckland on Monday December 2.The first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey famously featured just Smaug’s eye, leaving it to fans to envisage for themselves how he might look in Peter Jackson’s imagination.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline has been in discussions for some time around permission to feature Smaug on the ‘flying billboard’ ahead of the film’s official release.“For our partners to allow Air New Zealand to reveal their star to the world is a huge privilege. We worked with Weta Digital which designed the graphic especially for us for this purpose.”This is the second 777-300ER inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy in the Air New Zealand fleet. The first was unveiled last year to coincide with the launch of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and has been wowing fans around the world since.Director of The Hobbit Trilogy, Sir Peter Jackson, says while the first aircraft, featuring various characters from the first film, was extremely impressive the enormous scale of the single Dragon running the entire length of the aircraft is even more awe inspiring.“To see Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies like this is pretty exciting.  We’re proud to debut him here in New Zealand, where our team has worked so hard to bring him to life.” Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Saindon of Weta Digital says designing a graphic which not only fits with Peter Jackson’s creative vision but also meets the various specifications required to fit on an aircraft was no mean feat.“Capturing Smaug’s presence and the amazing detail in his design while accommodating the windows, doors and wing shape was quite a different experience for us,” said Saindon.   “It was great to see Smaug brought to life, and he appears even larger in the film!”The aircraft will head to Los Angeles Monday evening, to arrive just in time for the premiere on December 2nd local time.As part of its global marketing campaign around The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug, the airline has also released a video entitled Just another day in Middle-earth, which features staff from across its business, with a magical Hobbit movie-inspired twist. The video has been viewed online 1.5 million times in less than two weeks.last_img read more

Topper scam: ED seizes assets of ex-college head

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth ₹4.53 crore of former principal of Vishun Roy College, Bachcha Rai, his wife and daughter in connection with the 2016 Bihar topper scam. The attached assets include 29 parcels of land in different parts of Bihar, a two-storey building and a flat, besides the money parked in several bank accounts. According to the agency, Mr. Rai and the then Chairman of Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), Lalkeshewar Singh, allegedly manipulated the results of the students of Vishun Roy College. The institution was run by him and his family members. “The fraud was exposed when certain news channels interviewed the 2016 topper, Rubi Roy, and others and found that they did not know even the basics of various subjects. Subsequently, the results were rescinded by the Board,” said an official. The police chargesheet against Mr. Rai alleged that he received huge cash as illegal gratification from students for manipulating their results with the help of BSEB staff and officials, including the then Chairman Lalkeshwar Singh.last_img read more

13 killed, 6 hurt in U.P. shop explosion

first_imgThirteen people, including nine from West Bengal, were killed in an explosion at a shop here on Saturday afternoon which led to the collapse of three adjacent houses, officials said.Trapped under debrisSix persons were also injured in the incident. It is suspected that some people are still trapped under the debris and a rescue operation has been launched, they said. The blast took place at the shop in Rohta Bazaar, which was run by a man named Kaliyar Mansoori. His son was running a carpet factory behind the shop and its workers could be among those trapped under the debris, District Magistrate Rajendra Prasad said, adding the injured have been admitted to hospital. Locals claimed that Mansoori was also in the business of making illegal firecrackers.last_img

BMW looking for larger slice of SUV market

first_imgAs India’s love for sport utility vehicles (SUV) revs into top gear, German luxury carmaker BMW on Thursday launched its new SUV, X1, in India priced between Rs 22 lakh to Rs 29.9 lakh (ex- showroom Delhi). The car will be available in both petrol and diesel variants.While the petrol version will be available at Rs 22 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India), the diesel variant will have two options, priced at Rs 23.9 lakh and Rs 29.9 lakh (ex-showroom, all-India), respectively.The diesel variant of X1 has an engine with power of 177 brake horse power (BHP) and torque of 350 Nm ranging from 1750 to 3000 rpm. The petrol engine gives a power of 150 BHP with a torque of 200 Nm at 3600 rpm.BMW claims that the diesel variant takes 8.3 seconds to attain a speed of 100 kmph, whereas the petrol variant takes 10.4 seconds. All X1 variants have six speed automatic gearboxes.BMW already has two SUV models in India ‘X3’ and ‘ X5’. This SUV will be positioned below them.Last year, the Indian auto market saw as many as half a dozen new SUV launches, including many high- end luxury SUVs.These include Audi Q7, Hyundai Santa Fe, Tata Aria, whereas Audi had earlier launched Q5.French auto major, Renault, too, is planning to launch SUV Koleos in the Indian market in mid- 2011.The price will be a major advantage for the firm. This compact SUV will not only divert some traffic from its German counterparts but will also be pitched against Toyota Fortuner priced at ` 19.64 lakh, Nissan X- Trail ( Rs 21.7-26 lakh), Hyundai Santa Fe ( Rs 21-23 lakh) and the Mitsubishi Outlander (Rs 20.25 lakh).advertisementThis is the cheapest car from the BMW stable in India so far. The firm said it will assemble X1 from its Chennai plant and has invested about ` 180crore to boost the production. BMW has taken over the top position from its arch- rival Mercedes- Benz. According to the latest Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers figures, BMW sold 5,345 units against 5,109 units sold by Mercedes- Benz during January- November this year.The company is quite bullish about the response of its new SUV in the India market.”We already have 1,000 orders for the BMW X1 and we are sold out for the first quarter of the next year. We expect the X1 to be the biggest volume model for BMW in India,” Andreas Schaaf, president, BMW India said.”India is still a growing market, it is not yet matured and we are creating a market with the launch of new vehicles. If the market continues to grow at 25 per cent, in ten years time India will be among the top 10 markets of BMW globally,” Schaaf said.last_img

Alabama Football: Nick Saban’s Daughter Got Married At Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium Last Night and It Looked Awesome

first_imgNick Saban Wedding Bryant-Denny StadiumNick Saban Wedding Bryant-Denny StadiumNick Saban’s daughter, Kristen, got married last night. We’ll give you one guess at the venue. Yes, it was Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. And it looked awesome.  Congrats to Mr and Mrs Setas #SabanToSetas #SetOnSetasA photo posted by Ann Marie Theis (@annmarietheis) on May 30, 2015 at 9:11pm PDT  The lovely bride! #setonsetas #sabantosetasA photo posted by Ann Marie Theis (@annmarietheis) on May 30, 2015 at 6:56pm PDT  #SabanToSetas #SetOnSetasA photo posted by Ann Marie Theis (@annmarietheis) on May 30, 2015 at 9:14pm PDT So Nick Saban’s daughter got married last night. Why am I not surprised at the venue!? 😉 pic.twitter.com/IPZVrETCxM— Belle Es You (@SouthernbeLLSU) May 31, 2015 RT @MarisaLeeMartin: Only Kristen #Saban could pull this off at her wedding #SabanToSetas pic.twitter.com/uUPN1zx4Pa— Brent Dougherty (@brentdougherty) May 31, 2015 All weddings of people related to college football coaches should be held at college football stadiums.last_img read more