Because of our location and underlying geology Lough Dan is a perfect habitat for Midges. Midges are a problem only during the summer months and only at certain times of day depending on the weather.
They are not a problem on sunny or windy days only on overcast days and when the sun is low. They can be bad at dawn (but you should still be in bed at that time) and dusk when the sun and wind drop in the evening. So in the evening for a couple of hours is the time they create the biggest nuisance. This might be just the time you arrive and have to pitch your tents??
We have made a few alterations to the site to reduce the problem. All outdoor lights are on time sensors as are the lights in the toilet block. We have put midge screens on the toilet/shower windows. There are several indoor areas you can use on bad evenings such as the Barn, hostel lecture room and the Crean Shackelton hut. Midge nets and spray are available in the tuck shop/office. We are looking into getting a small marquee that can accommodate a fire for scouts to sit around in in the evening.
What can you do?
- Many people live in the area and have learnt to live with the midges. Mainly this means adapting your routine to suit the situation.
- Put on midge repellent before the midge start to bite.
- Wear long trousers and sleeves and a midge net.
- Change your plans by moving indoors and avoid opening the door too often. Or seek a windy spot and light a smokey fire.
- Arrive on site earlier in the afternoon to pitch tents.
- Be prepared to change your plans and be flexible so if on summer camp why not go on your night out if the midge are going to be bad that evening.
- Bivvying is not really a summer time activity in Lough Dan unless you do it at the top of a mountain where there might be a breeze.
You know what they say about the weather? There is no such thing as bad weather only bad rain gear, well the same sort of thing is true for the Midge, there are no bad midges only bad ………??