IT PAYS to keep both ears, and eyes, open, if and when at home at this three-acre, wildlife-friendly spot at West Cork’s unusually titled Three-Gneeves.
At first glance, this new-to-market property is “just” a rural bungalow, unremarkable for its immediate exterior, with just shy of 1,000 sq ft of tidy living space within, and it’s guided on its late summer launch at €285,000, by agent Tristan Kingston of Hodnett Forde auctioneers.
But, taking in the wider picture, there’s a tranquil mix here at Three-Gneeves (a translation of the Irish Trí Ghníomh) that’s deliberately biodiversity-friendly, with three acres of mixed land, much of it only lightly maintained to encourage wildlife, at this little-travelled a location a few minutes north of Leap village and the N71.
It’s set close by a five-kilometre looped walk of Corran lake, one of the region’s underappreciated beauty spots.
And, for human inhabitants, along with the three-bedroomed, single-storey home there’s a separate and detached study/garage/workspace and, almost tucked out of sight on part of the grounds’ slope past rock, ditches, gorse and overgrowth, is a large, steel barn or more accommodating workspace: You could build a boat here, keep animals, or have a craft business.
The private home of a wildlife photographer and a specialist in environmental conservation — who’s keen on conserving traditional landscapes — it has, she says, “been managed as a haven for biodiversity with a mosaic of habitats nesting in and complementing the beautiful views and traditional West Cork rural landscape”.
Only sections of the several acres of pasture get the odd mowing, in sweeps, swirls and as pathways, to encourage wildflowers and as wide a mix of flora and fauna as possible, with plenty left to their own devices, and about the only thing disturbing the silence and seclusion is, says the owner, the sound of birdsong and the jawing of cows munching grass.
The area is rich in archaeology (a raked gravel section here has a “recreated” standing stone) and the range of habitats on the doorstep sees visits from foxes and hares, as well as moths, butterflies and bees, and provides nesting options for birdlife, with swallows and house martins annual arrivals — soon now to depart for points far further south the the West Cork coastline.
Now departing, or at least decamping, the owner/vendor clearly practises what she preaches, as photographs on the walls inside show butterflies on purple buddleia flowers, and foxes, bold as brass and securely at home in “their” undisturbed habitat.
Human comforts in the southerly-aspected home include a largish, L-shaped kitchen/dining room, a sitting room with open stone fireplace (one of two in the house), main bathroom, and three bedrooms, while services are on-site, with a private well for water.
There are solar panels, a heat recovery system and oil central heating, and it gets C1 BER.
Overall condition is good, and possible buyers could include young families (there’s a range of schools within a short drive, as well as beaches on the other side of the N71), with room to grow/extend the house and to grow produce, and/or keep livestock such as goats, chickens, horses or ponies.
Equally, the property could suit early/active retirees and city downsizers looking for a lifestyle change, yet close to community supports, in a quiet yet not isolated setting, with (sometimes lively) Leap village and the famed Connolly’s of Leap music venue about a five-minute trip by car, and options then further along the Wild Atlantic Way, all not much more than an hour from Cork city and airport.
Three cheers for three acres at Three-Gneeves.
Leap, West Cork
Size: 90 sq m (970 sq ft)
Best Feature: Biodiversity