This book is the result of a 35-year survey of the landscape ecology of lakes in the coastal fringe of West Connemara, started in 1975 by four Dutch ecologists. The book is based on the systematic description of the botanical and chemical changes which have occurred over that period in a series of 20 preselected lakes. The book represents one of the very few long term studies of this kind in Ireland and is unusual even on a world scale.
The authors fell in love with the landscape, its people and rich history and that fascination has called them back to the area many times to look carefully at the landscape, the vegetation and its transformations. And like all things lovely, they are hard to convey in rational terms alone. Therefore pictures, paintings, poems and short essays, support the scientific observations.
The main objective of this book is to share the love for this wonderful area, with a wide public, with a minimum of scientific jargon. The authors hope that the book will help both locals and visitors to gain a new perspective on the hidden beauty of the stunning and mysterious landscape of West Connemara, with its precious gems of hidden lakes with their special vegetation and flora. They also hope that an improved understanding of that beauty might help to promote active involvement in protecting this beauty for current and future generations.