The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark
Just to the north of the Cliffs of Moher you will find the Burren, a strange and beautiful karst landscape with its own extraordinary geological, natural and cultural distinctiveness. Together these two complimentary landscapes form the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
In 2011 the region was awarded the prestigious UNESCO recognized Global and European Geopark status and its not hard to see why.
As a Geopark, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher region has become internationally recognised. Not only does the region have the geological importance that is required of a Geopark, it also has the all-important network of organisations that oversee tourism in the area as well as coordinated education and conservation efforts. Making up over 530 square kilometres, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher region offers a diversity that is second to none.
Alongside the extraordinary rock formations and called seabird on the rugged coastline of the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren is home to a vast array of flora, including Arctic and Alpine flowers that grow surprisingly alongside Mediterranean species. There is also the staggering amount of history in the Burren region with over 2,700 recorded monuments, some dating back over 6,000 years. This has led to the Burren being described as “one vast memorial to bygone cultures”.
Universally, the Burren is renowned for its landscape and its Ice Age legacy is apparent throughout. From the limestone pavement, the gorges, the springs and the swallow-holes, to the glacial striations, the boulders and erratics; every square metre of this distinctive landscape is understandably important. Each doline and polje (flat depressions within the limestone), each dry valley and turlough, along with the hundreds of kilometres of underground caves, make up the uniqueness that is the Burren.
But this is a living landscape that consists of People, Place, Learning and Livelihood and the Geopark sees tourism businesses, public bodies and local communities combine to welcome visitors to experience a host of activities and encounters here. From walking near Mullaghmore with the farmer whose family has farmed the land for centuries, to surfing or kayaking along the Flaggy Shore, to sleeping in a family run hostel, guesthouse or hotel, to feasting on local delicacies, to chatting to the locals while waiting for the ceili to begin all of these experiences can be enjoyed safe in the knowledge that you are also contributing to the sustainable development of the area and the businesses you support are committed to conservation and environmental protection.
For more information on the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark visit www.burrengeopark.ie