Date(s) - 21 October 2020 - 25 October 2020
2:00 pm - 9:30 pm
An online celebration of farming for nature in the Burren and beyond.
Keynote Talks on Farming for Nature, Children’s Book Reading, Burren Animals Art Workshop, National Farming for Nature Awards, Farm Walks, Food Demonstrations and More
The Burren Winterage Weekend that takes place annually around the October bank holiday weekend is a community celebration of the ancient and iconic farming tradition of winterage or winter grazing in the Burren – a practice that has played a vital role in sustaining the heritage and biodiversity of this remarkable landscape.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Burren Winterage Weekend will be held online this year. Events begin on Wednesday 21st of October at 2pm with the Burren Winterage School. Brendan Dunford, School Director, noted, “The Burren Winterage School 2020 will feature speakers from Austria, Slovenia, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, Greece, Finland, USA, UK and Ireland, sharing experiences of farming for nature and how farming can make a more positive contribution to addressing our global climate and biodiversity crises.”
On Wednesday evening at 8pm James Rebanks, a farmer based in the Lake District and best-selling author of ‘The Shepherd’s Life’, as well as the newly-published ‘English Pastoral – an inheritance’, will talk about his life-enhancing approach to farming. Rob Burton, one of the authors of ‘The Good Farmer: Culture and Identity in Food and Agriculture’, will speak on Thursday evening. Patrick Holden, founder of the Sustainable Food Trust in the UK, will share his experiences as a farmer and campaigner in Friday’s keynote presentation.
Annalisa Murphy added, “Family events as part of this year’s Burren Winterage Weekend include a children’s book reading and book launch on Thursday at 6:30pm, with children’s author and Fanore native Shane Casey reading from his beautiful new book ‘The Calf and the Cuckoo’, set in the Burren. The book will be available to pre-order online, with all proceeds going to the Burrenbeo Trust. Farming enthusiasts are encouraged to brush up on their Burren farming facts for a fun family quiz, also on Thursday evening! On Friday afternoon children and aspiring nature artists of all ages will be treated to an online art workshop on ‘Animals of the Burren’, with environmentalist and Burrenbeo Trust patron Gordon D’Arcy, who illustrated ‘The Calf and the Cuckoo’.”
Events on Saturday 24th will include ‘real life’ farm walks hosted by Burren farmers, who will share their experience in farming for conservation in the Burren. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, numbers are limited, booking in advance is essential through www.burrenwinterage.com and participants are required to comply with public health guidance. On Saturday evening the Annual Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards, presented online by journalist and broadcaster Ella McSweeney, will showcase the inspiring work being done by farmers across Ireland to support nature on their land.
The Community Cattle Drive which is usually a well-attended event of this festival will be a closed event this year, but will be broadcast online. In this way this year’s featured Burren farming family will share virtually the experience of taking their cattle to their winter grazing land, bringing live images of the Burren landscape and the unique tradition of winterage into homes all over the Burren and far beyond.”
Programme details and registration links for all the events of the Burren Winterage Weekend and Burren Winterage School are available on www.burrenwinterage.com
In collaboration with the Burren Winterage Weekend 2020 the Burren Eco-Tourism Network is presenting the Virtual Burren Food Fayre from Friday 23rd of October to Monday 2nd of November, with twelve Burren food experts bringing the foods of the Burren and the recipes of the renowned ‘Burren Dinners’ book to life every evening at 7pm in the comfort of your home. For more information on the Virtual Burren Food Fayre and the programme of events please visit www.burren.ie
The Burren Winterage Weekend is coordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust, an independent landscape charity, and made possible with the support of the Heritage Council, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the FBD Trust.