This year sees the return of the popular annual Christmas Market at CECAS in Myross Wood House in Leap on Sunday, December 3. Running from 11am-3.30pm, the market will boast over 50 stalls offering crafts, food, beverages, plants, vintage items, and more. There will be a complimentary shuttle service from Leap Church to Myross where shoppers will also have the opportunity to explore the Courtyard Collective shop and The Very Thing antiques for one-of-a-kind and locally crafted gifts.
CECAS, the Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability established at Myross Wood House in Leap in response to the dual threat of the climate and biodiversity crisis, is celebrating two years of growth and impact since being established in August 2021.
Run and managed by Green Skibbereen CLG, the centre is a hub for environmental awareness, community engagement, and sustainability initiatives; achieving significant milestones since its inception and becoming a focal point for positive change in the community.
In 2022 alone, CECAS has demonstrated its commitment to fostering a sustainable future through the following achievements:
Diverse events programme: CECAS hosted a total of 36 unique events throughout the year, ranging from educational workshops and community forums to interactive exhibitions and classical concerts. These events brought together diverse audiences, fostering a deeper understanding of climate action and sustainability practices.
Positive community engagement: In 2022 over 7,500 people have visited CECAS, each contributing to the vibrant community that has formed around the centre. This influx of interest underscores the growing demand for spaces dedicated to climate action, biodiversity and sustainability for the community.
Supporting local creativity: CECAS has provided a platform for local artists and sole traders by renting out 13 distinct workspaces within its premises, as well as two pop-up shops and a series of monthly markets. This initiative not only supports the local creative economy but also aligns with the centre’s commitment to sustainable business practices.
Community volunteers: Over 80 local individuals have volunteered their time and expertise with CECAS, actively participating in various initiatives and projects. This strong community engagement highlights the grassroots support for CECAS’s mission and the collective desire to contribute to positive environmental change and the results can be seen in the community garden and in the ongoing work to restore Myross Wood as a native Irish woodland.
Education and learning: As well as hosting a wide range of third party courses and workshops for family carers, farmers, community organisations and retired people, in 2023, the first in-house education programme was delivered, an ‘Introduction to Biodiversity’, with an expanded CECAS learning programme planned for 2024.
Reducing carbon footprint: Green Skibbereen installed a low-carbon hot water heating system at CECAS utilising a grant received from the Community Centres Investment Fund, thus reducing the building’s dependence on fossil fuels. A grant was also secured to restore the ancient woodland at Myross, which included the planting of 1000 native trees.
Trish Lavelle, Chair of the Board of Green Skibbereen and Manager of CECAS, expressed gratitude for the community’s support and engagement: “In just over two years, CECAS has evolved into a dynamic hub where ideas, creativity, and community spirit converge and thrive. We are immensely proud of the milestones we’ve achieved and the positive impact we’ve had on our community’s commitment to climate action and sustainability. We are also extremely grateful for the support of our local community. We plan to build on this in 2024.”
Pictured are community members and volunteers attending ‘Apple Fest’ event at CECAS, October 2023.