Planning a trip to Ireland? Please visit The Burren, in County Clare, it is like no other place in Ireland. Man has settled here since the stone age. The amazing " Poulnabrone Dolmen" is an incredable sight.
The Burren is famous for its plantlife. Limestone-loving plants such as foxgloves and rock roses grow here and rock's microclimates also nurture plants found in the Artic, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. Botanists have attempted to find out why, but no one has come up with a complete answer. Twenty six of Ireland's thirty three species of butterfly have been recorded here, including the ' Burren Green'.
The Burren is similar to a moonscape but features amazing foiliage and wildlife. The word 'Burren' is derived from gaelic meaning 'stoney place'. Evidence suggests that early settlers cut down the forest, and allowed the soil to be eroded away. Centuries of weathering has produced a terrain of fissured limestone pavements, terraced mountains and underground cave systems, the most famous of which is the Aillwee Cave.
Despite the Burren's harsh, rocky appearance, some have referred to it as 'Fertile rock' owing to the rich variety of flora species that inhabits the area. The herbs and tufts of grass that grow between the rocks are also very nutritious for animals. Of the twenty-seven orchid species that are native to Ireland twenty-five of them are found in the Burren.
For hundreds of years. Burren farmers have marked the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the limestone uplands, a tradition known as winterage. The Burren is one of the only places in the world where this 'transhumance' practice still takes place - thankfully so, as research has proven that winter grazing is key to the Burrens famous biodiversity!
Every year, the Burren 'community' - those living and working here, but also those who love the Burren and care for it - come together to celebrate this wonderful tradition and promote its continuance.
Before visiting "The Burren" why not check their visitors web site, as many trips are organized, bird-watching to walking tours. Discover the secrets of the Burren, the history of nature and man in this unique landscape for yourself.
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