The Burren

Welcome to the magical kingdom of the Burren, land of the fertile rock. Within this section you will find a full range of information on the various aspect of this, Ireland's flagship heritage landscape, from flora to fauna. geology to archaeology, agriculture to community. No matter what it is about the Burren that interests you, there is something here for everybody.

So what do people think about when they think about the Burren? For many, it has to be the flowers. No surprise there, as the region hosts a spectacular array of over 70% of Ireland’s native flora, including 22 of our 27 native orchid species and the much-loved blue gentian, compressed into what is just under 0.5% of our national land mass. This extraordinary flora supports an equally diverse fauna – from feral goats to pine martens, elegant butterflies to snake-like slow worms.

For many people it’s the archaeology that is of most interest in the Burren: with over 500 ring forts and over 80 known Neolithic tombs, the Burren is very well endowed in this regard, resembling ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’ according to cartographer Tim Robinson.

For other people the main source of attraction is the landscape itself, the unique panoramas of grey that provide such a stark contrast to Ireland’s proverbial ‘forty shades of green’. The Burren hills are teeming with such geological oddities as labyrinthine cave systems, disappearing streams and lakes, tiered hillsides and oddly dissected pavements.

The Burren also has a wonderfully rich and vibrant culture, possibly captured best in the fascinating agricultural traditions that have evolved in the area over thousands of years. The physical and anecdotal evidence of this remarkable story of human interaction with a landscape still lingers in the Burren - a cultural resource of enormous significance.

In this section you will find information on these, and other, aspects of the Burren which we hope will enhance your understanding and appreciation of this outstanding landscape.