Latest news and stories from the edge
It's that time of year and the Puffins have returned to their burrows on the cliff to lay eggs and raide their young chicks. They arrived earlier than ever this year on the 21st of March, maybe as a result of our mild weather during February and March. If you want to see puffins at the Cliffs of Moher this month, it is best to look for them before 10.00am from the south viewing platform.Our resident herd of Feral Goats have been spotted with two new kid goats bringing their total number up to seven. The goats can be hard to spot when at the cliffs as they are often on trecherous goat paths out of sight beneath the visitor's path. One walker was very lucky to see a rare sight last week at the Hag's Head end of the Cliffs of Moher. A school of up to 50 Basking Sharks was spotted in the clear waters below the cliffs on a still and sunny day. At this time of year, basking sharks can be seen off the west coast of Ireland feeding on plankton beneath the surface of the water as shown in the photo below. For more information on basking sharks, visit www.baskingshark.ie
Seismometer installed at the Cliffs of Moher
A new seismometer is on public display in the Cliffs Exhibition at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
Funded by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and part of the Outreach Programme for Seismology in Schools, run by the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN)Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark also has become the latest Geopark to operate a seismometer.
Tom Blake, INSN Director and Experimental Officer with the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), said that the seismometer is so sensitive that it can easily pick up strong seismic activity on the other side of the world.
Mr. Blake said that the Cliffs of Moher seismometer is sensitive enough to record small earth tremors that occasionally occur around Ireland, the most recent of which was felt in north Donegal on the 13th March 2012. The 1.1 magnitude tremor struck at a depth of 3 kilometres at 9:23 PM in the Buncrana and Milford regions.
A 2.7-magnitude trembler two years ago in Inagh, remains the strongest onshore earthquake recorded in Ireland since records began in 1978.
“Although Ireland does not sit on any major plate margin, it is still susceptible to earthquakes as we saw in Donegal this year and in Clare in May 2010. The new seismometer would certainly have been well placed to register and record the north Clare earthquake. This was a very important seismic event as it was the first time that a tremor had occurred in the west of Ireland since records began” commented Mr. Blake.
Visitors to the Cliffs Exhibition can see the seismometer in action. It is so sensitive it can pick up actions such as a person jumping up and down, although these readings do show up differently from an earthquake.
You can also view graphs of earthquakes around the world recorded on our seismometer on this page on the Seismographs in Schools website:
Multi Lingual Information Leaflets
In February we launched our Cliffs of Moher Information leaflet for visitors in 10 new languages: Irish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese. We are happy to be able to offer these new brochures to our visitors from around the world. Please ask enquire about a leaflet in your native language next time you visit!
There were prime conditions in late March for adrenaline seeking surfers to ride the wave beneath the the cliffs at Aill na Shearragh (Cliff of the Foals). This now famous wave named Aileens, can reach heights of up to 50 feet but does not break unless the elements of wind, tide and swell combine for perfect conditions. Remember though, that surfing here is not for amateurs or the faint hearted! Look out for the wave beneath the Cliffs of Moher at O'Brien's Tower. This photo was taken from the tower during the week of lovely sunny weather we enjoyed in March.
2012 Green Awards Nomination
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience has been nominated for a Green Award in the Entertainment and Leisure category. We won the award in 2010 and are delighted to have our ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism recognised again this year. Some recent improvements include the installation of waterless urinals in the men's and water saving motion sensor taps in all toilets. Our new outdoor segregated bins are made from recycled plastic wrapping and we recycled 41/6% of our waste in 2011.
Spring Opening Hours
This April, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre is open from 9.00am to 6.30pm weekdays and 9.00am to 7.00pm at weekends and bank holidays.