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Carl Wright will be conducting a guided walk and visit to the stunning Caher Bridge Garden as part of the festival. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

Burren in Bloom festival returns this month

BURREN in Bloom, the annual celebration of the Burren’s rich biodiversity returns this May.

The event, running from Thursday, May 19 to Sunday, May 22 will include a range of guided walks, evening talks and family events to coincide with the UN International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22.

Áine Bird, Coordinator of Burrenbeo Trust says, “Burren in Bloom is more than a celebration, it is an important reminder that the wonder of the Burren’s wildflowers must not be taken for granted.

“Careful management and continuation of the ancient practice of winterage by hundreds of farmers in the Burren, the scientific and economic support they receive, and the informed pride of the local community in our natural heritage – all play a crucial part in keeping the Burren blooming each year.”

This year, the festival will start with an online talk on the evening of Thursday, May 19 on ‘Nature as a partner – changing attitudes to nature and landscape’ with environmental philosopher Matthijs Schouten.

Matthijs, Adjunct Professor in Ecology at UCC, led the Dutch-Irish Bog Conservation Project in 1970s which went on to become synonymous with bog conservation in Ireland.

On the agenda for Friday, May 20 is a morning walk to explore the ecology and history of Lough Coole at Coole Park, an exclusive ‘Afternoon with Wild Rose’ workshop at the Burren Perfumery and an evening welcome session at Tully’s bar in Kinvara with speakers from near and far, including Solvita Rūsiņa on ‘Latvian meadows in bloom’; and Paul Whelan on the launch of a new field guide on ‘Atlantic Hazelwoods and Burren Lichens’.

On Saturday, May 21 multiple walks have been organised to explore butterflies of the Burren, lichens of the Burren hazelwood, gardening for biodiversity and ponds for wildlife.

Wildlife artist Gordon D’Arcy will be teaching children how to draw wild mammals of the Burren on Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening will bring an opportunity to hear from ecologists Richard Nairn and Jesmond Harding on their recent books, ‘Wildwoods: the magic of Ireland’s native woodlands’ and ‘The Irish Butterfly Book’.

Also on Saturday there will be a guided walk and visit to the stunning Caher Bridge Garden in the company of its creator, gardener Carl Wright.

Carl who has a background in ecology has been developing his unique garden near Fanore for over 20 years, a garden that blends harmoniously into the surrounding landscape and supports the native flora and fauna.

Sunday, May 22 will see participants revisit the location of the Burren Winterage Cattle Drive with a walk up to the winterage pastures near Boston to enjoy the arrival of the bounty of wildflowers made possible by the farming practice of winter grazing. Bugs and Blooms Family Fun on Sunday morning offers a chance for young participants to investigate the Burren’s biodiversity through fun and games.

While some of the events are free, discounts apply to Burrenbeo members for all paid events. For the full programme and booking information visit burreninbloom.com.
Throughout the weekend, Slow Food Clare, in collaboration with the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and the Burren Ecotourism Network are also organising events to highlight the connections between local food, geological heritage and the livelihoods of the people who live in the Geopark. (www.slowfoodclare.com for more)
Burren in Bloom is coordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust and supported by The Heritage Council under the Heritage Capacity Fund 2022.

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