Burren National Park

Burren National Park

The Burren National Park is located in the southeastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The Park land was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: Limestone Pavement, Calcareous Grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/Hazel Woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying Springs, Cliffs and Fen.  

The word "Burren" comes from an Irish word "Boíreann" meaning a rocky place. This is an extremely appropriate name when you consider the lack of soil cover and the extent of exposed Limestone Pavement. However it has been referred to in the past as "Fertile rock" due to the mixture of nutrient rich herb and floral species.

In 1651 a Cromwellian Army Officer named Ludlow remarked, "of this barony it is said that it is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury them. This last is so scarce that the inhabitants steal it from one another and yet their cattle are very fat. The grass grows in tufts of earth of two or three foot square which lies between the limestone rocks and is very sweet and nourishing."

The highest point in the park is Knockanes (207 metres) which continues as a curving terraced ridge to Mullaghmór to the south. East of this ridge is an area of extensive, low lying limestone pavement containing a number of semi-permanent lakes. West of this ridge the pavement sweeps down to partially drift-covered ground which gradually rises again to reach the foot of a rocky escarpment. To the south of the park the limestone bedrock disappears under a layer of glacial till. This till area is far more intensively managed for pasture and silage.

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Education

The Burren National Park Information Point is open six months of the year from April until the end of September. During the months of April, May and June our Visitor Guides provide an education service about the Burren National Park and the plants and animals that live there.

Primary Level - An outdoor school visit to the Burren National Park:

These outdoor sessions concentrate on environmental awareness and ecology and encourage the children to use their senses in exploring the various habitats of each site. Through games and other activities, the children will learn about habitats and their associated species, including an understanding of how all species have their own roles to play in nature. Activities may include some of the following:

  • A guided walk along the Nature Trail which involves:
  • Looking for special Burren plants
  • Finding evidence of animal activity, e.g. tracks, signs of feeding and droppings
  • Listening to bird song
  • Exploring the geology, e.g. finding fossils and learning about erosion
  • Exploring different habitats, e.g. meadow, woodland and limestone pavement Plant and animal identification
  • Leaf identification
  • Scavenger hunt

N.B.: Group size must be limited to 30 pupils and a ratio of one adult per 10 pupils is required.

Contact Details

All visits to the Burren National Park and Information Point must be booked in advance. If you would like to book please contact  065 6827693 or email burrennationalpark@ahg.gov.ie

For more information visit: http://www.burrennationalpark....