The feeder goes into a long curve on a high embankment. Continue past the mill bridge where the shattered bulk of an ancient mill looms on the far side and keep along the easy path, which conveniently delivers the walker alongside the intriguingly named Hanged Man’s Arch pub on the Milltown road. The bar keeper will, no doubt, be glad to give thirsty walkers an explanation for such a ghoulish name. The feeder channel south of the bridge continues into the dip in the landscape surrounded by low ridges known as Pollardstown Fen. To investigate the fen further take the west bank which leads you right into the heart of these wetlands, the canal terminates at a dead end after about 2km. It is a rare habitat peat land where a rich diversity of plants is nourished by calcium-rich spring water which originates in a vast layer of water-holding rock beneath the Curragh plains. Within the twelve thousand year-old fens are more than thirty springs which supply a vast quantity of water to its habitat. This water was channeled by the canal builders into the Feeder canal, which in turn transfers it along 8km course into the summit level of the Grand Canal system. At a separate location the Pollardstown Fen Bird Sanctuary (GPS: 53.1271, -6.9291) which features a 2km boardwalk and information signage provides an excellent interpretation of these important wetlands and worthy of a separate visit. The fen’s waters once had another claim to fame - feeding the summit level of the Grand canal they were drawn of at filter beds at Clondalkin from which Arthur Guinness & Company took a supply for the James’s Street brewery. So water from the heart of Kildare was one of the magic ingredients in the world famous brew. COUNTY KILDARE’S TOW PATH TRAILS The Pollardstown Fen Bird Sanctuary 56