Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

July 13, 2009

Is the Burren disappearing?

Filed under: home base — admin @ 7:32 am

burren-sunday-077It has been a few years since I drove many of the back roads of the Burren, one of the most  fragile landscapes in Europe.  It is an area in North Clare that is critically important due to the wealth and diversity of it’s natural and cultural heritage.  Rare wildflowers peeking up from the grikes, elusive butterflies, turloughs and the blueish hue of the limestone pavement, the pink and purple sky at dusk are just a few things that make the Burren the natural phenomenon that it is.  But, it is rich in cultural heritage, as well.  There are portal tombs that are older than the pyramids and the hills are dotted with bronze and iron age cairns and ceremonial sites. There are penitential stations from the early times of Christianity, monastaries from the 11th century and if you wonder into the Burren far enough you will find the old ruins of  pre famine  farming communities.  Recently, the Burren Life Project was granted money from the government to extend it’s program, facilitating Burren farmers to implement new grazing regimens, particularly returning cattle to the higher grounds for winter grazing.  But, as I looked out onto these unique limestone hills and plateaus so rich in fauna, floral and history, I saw the hazel bush encroaching and what are still the ever beautiful shimmering blue rocks that hold our history are fast becoming  meadows of green.

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