From the lowlands of the Shannon Callows to the surf of Sligo Bay Leitrim is a varied and surprising county. The least densely populated in Ireland and a border county, it has not seen the economic growth that has changed so much of Ireland. Although much of the land is poor, particularly the uplands, and the climate very changeable, this has meant that the pace of agricultural development has not been forced. This has allowed Leitrim to be in the forefront of Organic production in Ireland. In the valleys and better land in the south of the county there is a large number of organic farmers and growers.
The Organic Centre in Rossinver, the North Leitrim Vegetables Growers Co-op with an Organic shop in Manorhamilton, and the expanding Leitrim Organic Farmers Co-op based in Drumshanbo are amongst the principal initiatives in the country. Organic foods are widely available, including a Country Market in Mohill and at several quality restaurants.
Forestry has claimed much of the uplands but with Crann, the Broadleaf pressure group, running a long-term project in Leitrim there is hope for improvement.
While access is limited, only two national roads crossing the county, there is a good rail connection and Leitrim is the home of a pioneering community transport project. There are excellent long-distance hiking and cycling trails, with hostels and camp-sites. The Shannon-Erne canal links Leitrim with Fermanagh and a waterbus will take you right in to Sligo from beautiful Lough Gill.
Leitrim is also home to many creative artists, writers and musicians. In Manorhamilton the Sculpture Centre is a remarkable focus of talent and, in Carrick-on-Shannon, Visual Leitrim is an innovative marketing project.
Traditional music is strongly supported with many popular summer schools centred on local musicians and a full-time traditional music course at Drumshanbo FE College. Drumshanbo is host to the last An Tostal festival, formerly a nationwide celebration of local culture - in the quieter backwaters of Leitrim it thrives.
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