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Tag Archives: the burren

The Burren through Carsten’s lens

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher is the subject of a new book by one of Ireland’s leading photographers. This Is The Burren, Carsten Krieger’s photographic ode to the world-famous region, will be launched by Rose Hynes, a native of North Clare and chair of Shannon Group plc, in Hyland’s Burren Hotel, Lisdoonvarna on  Sunday. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher was last week designated UNESCO Global Geopark status. The 176 photographs featured in This Is The Burren capture the essence of the Burren, including its weathered karst landscape, the ever-changing light; the exotic flora; the elusive wildlife; the tombs, cairns, forts and churches, and the people who call the Burren their home. Carsten Krieger, who was born in Germany, visited the Burren after learning it was the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. More visits followed before he and his wife finally decided to move to County Clare to be close to the unique landscape. Cathaoirleach of …

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Festival to showcase Burren chocolate factory

The world’s smallest and most remote bean-to-bar chocolate factory, based in North Clare, will be showcased at the first annual Bite Food Festival in the RDS from November 19-22. Hazel Mountain Chocolate will be one of the country’s top artisan producers showcased at the major new food festival, which is expected to attract over 20,000 Irish food and drink lovers. Based on a small farm near the Burren, the internationally award-winning factory is about to expand its products into Scandinavia, where their seaweed chocolate has already become a huge hit. Their success story started just four years ago when John Connolly and his Polish-born chocolatier wife Kashia decided to learn how to become chocolate makers. “We use uniquely-flavoured cocoa beans from Madagascar, Cuba, Costa Rica and Venezuela and ensure we get them direct trade from small farms in each country,” said John. “Our dark chocolate is made from just two ingredients, cocoa beans and unrefined cane sugar. “It takes about …

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Burren and Cliffs of Moher retain Geopark status

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher has successfully retained its Geopark designation for a further period following a reassessment and revalidation by the UNESCO supported Global Geopark Network. The designation is subject to review every four years and an assessment was  conducted by Dr. Klaus George from Germany and Dr. Margaret Wood from Wales in June. The announcement was made at the 13th European Geoparks Conference 2015 in Rokua Geopark, Finland. 18 Geoparks were up for revalidation with 16 receiving green cards, including the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. Global Geopark status was first awarded to the Burren together with the Cliffs of Moher in 2011 for their outstanding geological and cultural heritage and has resulted in the region joining a global network of over 100 Geoparks worldwide. The Geopark is managed by Clare County Council and receives support and funding from the Geological Survey of Ireland and Failte Ireland. “Clare County Council has been working in the Burren since …

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Exploring Burren mysteries by bike

A NORTH Clare man is introducing tourists to the mysteries of the Burren. Enda McGuane, founder of West Coast Cycle Tours, explained how visits from friends inspired his flagship tour, the Wild Atlantic Day. “I got a bike about seven or eight years ago on the Bike to Work Scheme and am living in Kilnamona so I’m close to the Burren and the coast, so I came up with this from cycling around on my own and with my friends and seeing what was out there that was good to do. When my friends from outside the county or from college would come up to visit, I’d take them to these places,” he said. “The one thing about cycling here is that it is not as safe in Ireland as it is on the continent but we have tried to pick the most scenic and safe routes. The Western Greenway and the West Clare Railway are great starts in providing …

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Out and about in God’s wide fields

THE President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, was in “God’s wide fields” in Ballyvaughan for the first of a two-stage visit to Clare this week. Mr Gauck, accompanied by his partner Ms Daniela Schadt, was delighted to be visiting the Droney’s 90 hectare Origin Green farm in Ballycahill, near Ballyvaughan and to be surrounded by 200 beef suckler cows and 200 sheep, a vista, he admitted, that brought him back to his childhood in post-war Germany. “For me, it is so good,” Mr Gauck told The Clare Champion. “In my youth, I saw so many cows outside and now, if I go back to my home area in the north of Germany, no cows are outside, sheep are a little bit but the cows are all inside in a shed. “This is a programme that works with the support of the Government and the influence of the European Union to support this kind of agriculture, not the …

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Clare Tourism lauds EDEN win for Burren

Clare Tourism has congratulated members of the Burren Food Trail after the sustainable tourism initiative was named winner of the 2015 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award. The Burren Food Trail was one of four destinations shortlisted by Fáilte Ireland earlier this month in the prestigious EU-wide EDEN competition. The theme of the competition, which was previously won by Loop Head, was ‘Tourism and Local Gastronomy’ and the winning destination was chosen following on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators. Martin Waldron, North Clare representative on the Clare Tourism Steering Group said the award win will help to promote and give official recognition to the “wide range of fantastic work” that is ongoing throughout the Burren through sustainable business practices. Mr. Waldron, whose operates Self Catering Accommodation through Corofin-based Burren Escape, added: “As PRO of the Burren Ecotourism Network, I have witnessed at first hand the benefits for food operators and businesses in coming together to develop and promote …

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EDEN Award for Burren Food Trail

The Burren Food Trail has been selected as the Irish winner of this year’s European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award. The prestigious EU-wide competition is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development and The Burren Food Trail was one of four destinations shortlisted earlier this month. The Trail now joins other Irish destinations such as Loop Head, Mulranny and Cavan Town in demonstrating best practice in various aspects of sustainable destination development. Launched by the Burren Ecotourism Network and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and as the Mid West’s first food trail in 2013, the Burren Food Trail is supported by an innovative schedule of food events taking place every Monday from May to October. The events showcase the region’s cuisine and provide a unique food experience in the amazing landscape that is the Burren. Members of the Food Trail place an emphasis on the use of local ingredients and are committed to …

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Pupils teaching a prince about the Burren

Windswept, and waiting hours on the side of a limestone hill took little out of four young experts, on hand to educate the future king of England on the local area when he visited the Burren on Tuesday. The local children, all graduates of the Burrenbeo 20-week Ecobeo educational programme, instructed Prince Charles on archaeological, historic, geological and ecological features of the local landscape. The sight of the helicopter accompanying the royal motorcade as it weaved towards the Nagle farm in Pullaghcarron eased the boredom of waiting to meet the heir to the British throne for the primary-school pupils. Watching it, 12-year-old Eoin McNamara, a pupil at Carron National School, revealed his hopes for the historic arrival of the Prince of Wales in the Burren. “I keep expecting it to be like the Olympics, when the Queen parachuted out of the helicopter,” he said. His classmate, Aoife McNamara, was philosophical about her upcoming brush with royalty. “He is just a person, …

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