This October Bank Holiday weekend why not join some of the farmer custodians of the landscape as they share the secrets of their hills?
For hundreds of years, Burren farmers have marked the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the limestone uplands, in the tradition known as winterage and the Burren is one of the only places in the world where it still occurs. Winterage has been integral to shaping today’s familiar Burren landscape.
Along with the local community, the Burrenbeo Trust is coordinating this year’s Burren Winterage Weekend (October 27th-30th). As part of this there will be an array of events including a conference on sustainable farming, farm demonstrations, a food fayre of local produce, cultural events and much much more.
One of the highlights of the weekend are the wonderful Herdsman’s Walks (29th Oct) which are fundraisers for the free heritage education programmes in local schools. These 2.5hr walks will include a mixture of stories, folklore and farming and each is in a beautiful location with those that know it best, the farmer. This year Patrick McCormack (10am-12.30pm) will be climbing the hills overlooking the iconic Mullaghmore mountain near to Carron. Whilst PJ O’Donoghue (11am-1.30pm) will be looking at famine villages and farming high on the hills overlooking Fanore’s roaring waves. Booking is essential and can be done on www.burrenwinterageweekend.eventbrite.ie or 091 638096. Prices vary from €15-30 depending if you are a member or not.
If you feel like more walking on the Sunday, the weekend’s events culminate in the community cattle drive – where the community follow a herd of cattle into the Burren hills where they will spend the winter. This is a great celebration of this rich tradition and a unique and authentic experience and everyone is welcome.
The Winterage Weekend is a non-profit event, coordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust with the support of the local community. Visit www.burrenwinterage.com website for more details of all the events. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 091 638096.