The Blackwater and Bride Valleys possess fertile Brown Earths,Grey Brown Podzols and Brown Podzol soils.These soils are free draining and are ideal for dairying,cattle rearing and tillage.Poultry growing is also of major importance in the vicinity of Cappoquin.The Knockmealdown mountains and the Drum Hills experience higher precipitation than the valleys.Leaching is a major problem in these areas.Infertile Podzols and Peaty soils predominate on the Knockmealdowns.Also steep slopes hinder agriculture.Infertile Podzols are found over large areas of the Drum Hills.Sheep rearing is the dominant activity on upland areas.Ballinacourty near Dungarvan is famous for its early potatoes.Numbers employed in agriculture continue to decline with part time farming on the increase.Afforestation is of major significance on the Knockmealdowns and Drum Hills.
Sea fishing is a major economic activity around Ardmore and Helvic.
Tourism is a major growth sector.Lismore is a Heritage Town.It is located on a dry point site above the River Blackwater.It is a town of rare beauty nestling in a sylvan landscape.Its castle attracts large numbers of tourists.There is also a Heritage Centre in the town. In 2004 it won the National Tidy Towns Award. In 2005 Lismore was awarded a Gold Medal in the European-wide Entente Florale held in Gyor in Hungary. It was also named Ireland's Tidiest Small Town. The Knockmealdown Mountains lie in the distance.It is within easy reach of the Vee and Beal Loch in the Knockmealdowns.The Vee provides spectacular views of the plains of South Tipperary.Ballysaggartmore Towers near Lismore were built in the 1820s.The town has also got a golf course.Angling on the River Blackwater is very important at Cappoquin and Ballyduff.There are fine beaches at Ardmore,Whiting Bay, and Clonea. Dungarvan and Ardmore are major tourist destinations.Dungarvan has got three golf courses.Professor Ernest Walton was born in Abbeyside.In 1932 he split the atom with Sir John Cockroft.They shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951 In addition to its fine beach Ardmore has got a Round Tower-one of Irelands largest.The Nire Valley has spectacular scenery.Ring Gaeltacht attracts many tourists.Mt.Melleray Abbey attracts many visitors.This is the site of the miraculous meal bin.Large numbers of starving people were fed from this bin during the famine.It never emptied.Close to the Abbey is Mt.Melleray Grotto.Our Lady is believed to have appeared here in 1985.
Dungarvan and Cappoquin are the two main industrial towns.Industries at Dungarvan include:Radley Engineering,Glaxo Smithkline,Stafford Miller,and Century Homes.The town has got two newspapers:The Dungarvan Leader and the Dungarvan Observer. A large shopping centre has also been opened. There is a poultry processing plant at Cappoquin.Pinewood Laboratories at Ballymacarbry is a major pharmaceutical plant.There is Light Engineering at Tallow.
West Waterford is an ideal location for new industry:
(1) The people possess a strong work ethic.
(2) It is quite close to Cork Airport.
(3) House prices are generally lower here.
(4) There are large second level schools at Dungarvan and Lismore.
(5) Land costs are lower than on city fringes.
(6) A dynamic Co.Council which is pro enterprise.
(7) Broadband is available in Dungarvan, Cappoquin, Lismore and Tallow.