2016 Festival Review

Now an annual event

August 2016’s Ellen Hutchins Festival in and around Bantry was as successful as 2015’s award winning Festival, and the decision was made to make the Festival an annual event. This decision was made with the support of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association.









ArchIve of previous years’ Festivals

Date/time Event title  Description
Sunday 21st August 2016


Whiddy Island Seaweed Event

Meet: Bank House, Whiddy Island.


An exploration of the seaweeds on the shores of Whiddy Island with Dr Susan Steele (Sea Fisheries Protection Authority). Susan will lead us in the footsteps of Ellen Hutchins, reimagining the difficulties of collecting, identifying & drawing specimens in the early 1800s.

As the shore is rough, participants must wear walking boots and be reasonably fit.

Note: The ferry leaves Bantry pier at 11am. For all ferry times and prices see: www.whiddyferry.com


Weds 24th & Thursday 25th August



both days

A Two-day Introductory Foray into Lichens, Algae, Fungi & Bryophytes

EH_Howard (3)

This two day foray in the Bantry Bay area with Dr Howard Fox & Maria Cullen will revisit the places that Ellen Hutchins held dearest during her short life.

Event Details: Introduction to cryptogamic botany of the grounds of Ballylickey House where Ellen Hutchins made many records in the early 19th century. The focus will move to Ardnagashel East where Ellen spent her last months, and where some of her family still live and will host our group in the woods there.

Booking required: BOOKED OUT

Thursday 25th August 2016


Ellen Hutchins: the story of her life, her botany and her art – An Illustrated Talk and Panel Discussion

West Lodge Hotel, Bantry

Ellen Hutchins letters (medium) (2)

The remarkable achievements of a young woman botanising round Bantry Bay over 200 years ago. The story of what she did, and the value of her contribution to botany then and now. The panel will include Madeline Hutchins (Ellen’s great great grand niece), Sean Moffatt (scriptwriter, RTE and BBC), Shevaun Doherty (botanical artist) and Howard Fox (Botanist, OPW).

The talk at 8pm will be preceded by a pop-up exhibition which will be available for viewing from 19:30

Sat 20th to Sun 28th August 2016 An Exhibition and Botanical Art Trail

Bantry, Ballylickey, Glengarriff


The life and work of Ellen Hutchins will be illustrated by five exhibition panels and 22 prints of her botanical art displayed in various sites in Bantry, Ballylickey & Glengarriff (trail leaflets available in the Tourist Offices in Bantry & Glengarriff, Bantry Library & Mannings Emporium, Ballylickey and from here).
Friday 26th August 2016 10:30-12:30
Children’s Nature Art Event BOOKED OUT

Bantry House Gardens


Outdoor children’s nature art event in the gardens of Bantry House with Jessica Mason. Activities will include creating flower impressions on cloth, making wood cookie flower identification discs and playing nature games. (An indoor space is available in the Stables if the weather is poor.)

Booking required: BOOKED OUT

Friday 26th August 2016


Pop-up Exhibition

Location: The Stables, Bantry House


Items relating to Ellen, which have been passed down through the Hutchins family, will be on display with their special permission. The items include a fascinating selection of letters, books, documents, photographs and other memorabilia. Members of the Hutchins family and botanists involved in the Festival will be on hand to talk about the items and answer questions.

Note: access to the gardens at Bantry House is free on Friday 26th August.

Friday 26th August 2016


Botanical Art Workshop

Bantry House Stables and Gardens

BOOKING REQUIRED (€50/person) shevaun.doherty@gmail.com

Blechnum gibbum

Shevaun Doherty is an award-winning botanical artist based in Dublin. She will hold a one-day botanical art workshop for aspiring botanical artists and for those who just want to enjoy a day’s sketching, learning about nature and different paint techniques.

Following in the tradition of the intrepid explorers in the field, you will be taken on a short sketching expedition and learn how to sketch plants in their habitat. Back in the studio you will learn how to create a Nature Journal, and how to use studies to develop a full botanical painting. There will be lots of practical advice and encouragement. All levels are welcome. The cost of the workshop is €50 & includes a small field sketching kit.

BOOKING REQUIRED (€50/person) shevaun.doherty@gmail.com

Sat 27th August 2016


Botanical Art Demonstration

Organico Café, Bantry


Shevaun Doherty will be demonstrating her exquisite art skills live. Also at the venue will be members of the Hutchins family with examples of Ellen’s botanical art dating from the early 1800s.

(This will be upstairs in the cafe.)

Sat 27th August 2016


A Walk in Glengarriff Woods


Glengarriff Woods was a favourite place of Ellen’s and she described the woody side of a little waterfall there as “particularly dear to me”. The enthusiastic Dr Padraig Whelan (UCC), who has spent many years supervising students doing projects in the Nature Reserve, will share some of his knowledge with us.