Cunnigar Walk

The West Waterford coast is pitted with wild bays and inlets; craggy outcrops, jagged cliffs, long sandy beaches and secluded rocky beaches. For all seasons and all weather types, there is a bay or beach to walk along or sit by and relax.

One such beach is the Cunnigar or ‘An Cuinigear’ in Irish. It is named after the Irish word coinin, which means rabbit. In the past people often hunted rabbits out on the Cunnigar. It is a 5km sand spit that juts across Dungarvan Bay from An Rinn. The Colligan River flows to the sea through Dungarvan Bay  stopping the Cunnigar  from ever reaching the Abbeyside Church on the other side. The beach is sand and shingle on either side with scrub and gorse along the center of the sand spit.

Insects of all shapes and sizes can be seen here, the scrub creaks with grasshoppers, while swallows dart low over the scrubland catching insects. Common blue butterfiles and small copper butterflies can be seen here in their hundreds as well as as the occasional clouded yellow butterfly. Bright yellow and black cinnabar caterpillars on ragworth.

The soft sandy soil makes it easy for rabbits to burrow homes here. Hundreds of shorebirds follow the tideline and it ebbs and flows along the bay. It is the top site in Waterford for rare waders such as little Ringed and Americian Golden Plover. Smaller birds such as wagtails and pipits dig for grubs along the scrubland while herring gulls soar overhead.

Low tide uncovers hundreds of oyster bags, stacked in neat lines stretching out across the bay. The clean waters of Dungarvan Bay allow for the healthy farming of hundreds of thousands of oysters.