Dates have not yet been announce for the Learning Landscape Symposium 2018 however see below the event in 2017 to whet your appetite!
The event will bring together leading national and international specialists on the theme of how best to use our local places as a learning
resource through different principles and practice in place-based learning. Featuring keynote speakers, workshops and fieldtrips, the symposium will investigate ways to use local resources to make learning a richer, more exciting and rewarding educational experience, as well as an opportunity to network with individuals that work in same sector. All situated in Kinvara and the Burren, the ultimate ‘outdoor classroom’. Just €80 to attend/ €65 if a member of Burrenbeo Trust.
List of talks & workshops to date – more exciting ones to come
Little gems: finding effective ways of learning in complex places (Dr Sam Harrison/ The Shieling Project, Scotland)
Nature and the environment to attain and restore health (Dr Catriona Carlin / NEAR Health, Galway)
Mindfulness in Nature (Barry Lee/ Nature in Mind, Dublin)
Where geography can be a catalyst for active citizenship (Dr Susan Pike / DCU Institute of Education, Dublin)
Recreating in a cultural landscape (Stephen Hannon / GMIT, Mayo)
Rockyshore Discoveries (Dr David McGrath/ GMIT, Galway)
Bridges or Barriers in learning in Nature (Dr Caitriona Carlin / NUIG)
Can critical thinking encourage active stewardship? (Áine Bird / Burrenbeo Trust, Galway)
Navigating place through story & song (Michael Fortune/The Folklore Project, Tipperary)
Nature Therapy Walk (Marion Elder/Crannog EcoFarm, Galway)
Activating and engaging communities towards sustainability (Dr Vincent Carragher / Trinity College, Dublin)
Art as a medium for learning about pl
ace (Karen Webster/Sligo)
Incorporating archaeology and stories of the past into your teaching (Rory O’Shaughnessy / Galway)
Urban Horticulture (Finola McCarthy / Bessborough Centre, Cork)
Peeling back the layers – developing a study of an ecosystem (Grace Garde / Graceful Landscape, Wicklow)
Encouraging critical thinking about place and our role (Áine Bird / Burrenbeo Trust, Galway)
Sensory Learning – Using all our senses to enhance our experience (Brigid Barry/ Burrenbeo Trust, Galway)
Discover Forest Schools (Ciara Hinksman & Jennifer Dungan/ Earth Force Education, Wicklow)
Fun ways to bring local place both into the classroom and beyond (Kate Lavender / Burrenbeo Trust, Galway)
Rules of engagement: Conservation is about people as much as it is about nature (Paddy Woodworth / Irish Times)
Who should attend the event?
The event is open to anyone with an interest in place-based learning and/or learning more in the Burren. Previous participants have included teachers, parents, heritage specialists, outdoor educators, environmental educators, ecotourism operators etc. The variety of attendees makes this an enriching experience where the learning is as much from each other as from the workshop leaders. This event is for anyone that is interested in bringing heritage (natural, built or cultural) into the hearts and minds of their audiences, or for anyone that is just interested in learning how to connect more to their surroundings.
- Learn new and exciting ways to educate others on their place
- Gain a wider perspective on why bringing place to your audience is important
- Exchange ideas and network with like-minded individuals
- Hear and learn from some leading practitioners in place-based learning and community-focused learning
- Explore Ireland’s ultimate learning landscape, the Burren
€65: This is an early bird price that is available until the 31st January.
€80: This is the price after the 31st January.
For Burrenbeo Trust members it will remain at €65 until bookings close – you have to have your membership card number handy when booking.
Note if you are a registered Heritage in Schools Specialist, The Heritage Council will refund you €40 after the event and support your mileage (up to 240km/.33c a km).
How do I book?
Booking is on a first come, first served basis. In previous years, it has booked out first so we recommend booking a place if you are interested in attending. How to do it? Just click on the below button and it will take you through to the Eventbrite website where you can buy your tickets.
The earlier you book the better as workshop allocation is based on when you booked. So if there is a workshop you really want to attend it is best to book as early as possible.
If you have any problems booking through the Eventbrite website, you can pay by card over the phone on 091 638096. If you have any other queries regarding payment or general enquiries about the event, don’t hesitate to phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a Heritage in Schools Specialist please tick the appropriate box on Eventbrite so The Heritage Council are aware that you are attending.
What happens if I cannot attend?
For those unable to attend, a substitute participant may be sent at any time for no additional charge. However, please confirm the name change to email@example.com at least 24 hours before the event. Alternatively a refund will be given for cancellations received in writing or by email, up to 7 days prior to the event, less an administration fee of 25%. Regrettably no refunds can be made after that date.
Where is the event taking place
The symposium will be mainly based in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Kinvara is an attractive seaside village on the edge of Galway Bay that acts as a gateway to the Burren. Famous for its music sessions, 15th century Dunguaire Castle and of course home to Ireland’s first landscape charity, Burrenbeo Trust. Visit www.kinvara.com for more information about Kinvara.
Galway city centre: 30km/approx. 40 mins
Shannon Airport: 63km/approx. 50 mins
Dublin Airport: 226km/approx. 2 hours & 30 mins
How to get there
Take the N18 towards Limerick. Approximately 15kms outside Galway in Kilcolgan village, take a right onto the N67. After 10km you will arrive into Kinvara village. Go through the village until you get to a big thatched hotel called The Merriman. Take a right here. The Burrenbeo Trust is half way down this street on the left hand side.
Take the M18 towards Galway. At Gort town take the N18 going north, again towards Galway. After 11km in Ardrahan village, take a turning to the left. Continue straight for approximately 9kms until you arrive in Kinvara. At the t-junction take a left and go through the village until you get to a big thatched hotel called The Merriman. Take a right here. The Burrenbeo Trust is half way down this street on the left hand side.There are slightly quicker ways; we just don’t want you to get lost before you arrive! However, if you have a good map, feel free to turn off the N18 at either Crusheen or Gort going west.
Take the M6 to Galway. On arrival at the first roundabout on the outskirts of Galway, take the N18 towards Limerick. At Kilcolgan village take a right on the N67. After 10km you will arrive into Kinvara village. Go through the village until you get to a big thatched hotel called The Merriman. Take a right here. The Burrenbeo Trust is half way down this street on the left hand side.
From Galway city, there are up to 8 buses a day to Kinvara. Check out www.buseireann.ie for information on getting a bus to Kinvara.
If getting a bus from Limerick or Cork, get off at Kilcolgan. This is 10kms from Kinvara. You can connect with a Galway – Kinvara bus however please check times to make the connection on www.buseireann.ie. Both www.gobus.ie and www.citylink.ie operate regular buses from all major cities to either Galway and some via Kilcolgan.
It is possible to get a train from Dublin to Galway city. There are also regional trains to Ardrahan or Gort. Go to www.irishrail.ie for more information on trains. A bit hard to get from these villages to Kinvara without a lift or a taxi organised.
The most convenient airports are either Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport. See details on buses above to get from the airports to Kinvara. Hire cars are also an option.
How long is the event
The full confirmed programme and workshop allocation forms will be sent on nearer to the event. Meanwhile here it is a draft outline:
Fri 11th March Discussion & Cross-pollination PM
A mix up – getting to know the crowd. Led by Burrenbeo Trust
Welcome with Brigid Barry followed by A series of talks on trends & developments in place-based learning
Placed Based Learning in the School Curriculum (Dr Susan Pike / DCU, Dublin)
Nature and the environment to attain and restore health (Dr Caroline Carlin / NEAR Health)
Recreating in a cultural landscape (Stephen Hannon / GMIT, Mayo)
Community-driven stewardship; the Burrenbeo Story (Áine Bird / Burrenbeo Trust)
Are we here or there? What do we mean by connecting to place? (Dr Sam Harrison/ The Shieling Project)
Sat 12th March Workshops AM
Vincent Carragher Engaging and activating communities towards sustainability
Dave McGrath Rockyshore discoveries
Kate Lavender Making local place interactive and fun for the classroom and beyond
Michael Fortune Navigating Place through Story & Song
Finola McCarthy Urban Horticulture
Sam Harrison Little gems: finding effective ways of learning in complex places
Jenny Dungan Forest School – Learning by Nature’s Design
Grace Garde & Paul Kavanagh Peeling back the layers of landscape
Brigid Barry Sensory Learning
Barry Lee Mindfulness in Nature
Who’s Who: A evening with displays to share food followed by a talk by Paddy Woodworth
Sun 13th March Workshops AM
Rory O’Shaughnessy Incorporate archaeology and stories of the past into your teaching
Áine Bird Can critical thinking encourage active stewardship?
Karen Webster Creative Ideas for Connecting with Nature
Catriona Carlin Bridges or barriers? Exploring how people perceive nature and ways to identify and
Marion Edler Nature Therapy Walk
Optional Walk in the Burren with farmer Michael Lynch and Brendan Dunford.
Transport during the event
The Learning Landscape Symposium will be based mainly out of Kinvara. However, there will be field workshops in the Burren as well. We will offer a beautiful pack of fieldguides to any car that is happy to drive 4 passengers to the outdoor location.
Can I bring children to this event? We understand that childcare is hard to get at weekends but we hope you understand that small children can be disruptive for other participants at the workshops. Families are of course welcome to stay in Kinvara and experience the sites of the area. Families are welcome to join us for the optional walk on Sunday afternoon however it is off road and can cover a good distance so is only suitable for smallies in a rucksack or children over 10.
Can I bring my dog to the event? We would appreciate if you did not bring your dog to the workshops. The indoor venues are not appropriate and the outdoor venues can often be on private land with livestock so not appropriate either.
Biographies of Speakers and Coordinators to date
Brigid has managed the Burrenbeo Trust for the past 8 years, since soon after its inception. Burrenbeo has over 50 different programmes and is a leading advocate for place-based learning and models of community stewardship in Ireland. Through her work, Brigid plays a key role in encouraging informed communities, thriving communities and sustainable landscape in the region. She teaches a variety of groups from teachers through to masters students, from pre-schoolers through to groups with social or physical challenges, and many more, all on interpreting the landscape for them or given them the tools to do it for themselves and their audiences. When she is not working, she is studying herbalism and finding ways to incorporate that into her teaching as well. Prior to Burrenbeo, she was the Biodiversity Officer for County Clare and had also spent 10 years working in community conservation abroad.
Gráinne is a research student within the Earth and Ocean Sciences Unit in NUI Galway. Her research is focused on the development of an Integrated Catchment Management Toolkit encompassing outdoor environmental education and GIS mapping. Supported by the Burren Geopark LIFE programme, students in Lisdoonvarna Secondary School are participating in a pilot water resources awareness program as part of her research; exploring and mapping the natural and built environment underlying the Aille Catchment in the Burren. With a masters in Sustainable Resource Management, prior to her current research, Gráinne worked in an environmental consultancy focusing on hydrology/hydrogeology.
Áine is the Education and Communications Officer for the Burrenbeo Trust. She develops and coordinates the place-based education programmes including a heritage course in primary schools and a place learning course with transition years that the Trust delivers to over 150 young people a year. With a background in botany, she has a masters in Science Communication, is a heritage in schools specialist and is currently undertaking further postgraduate study in Education at NUI Galway with a focus on place-based education. Prior to Burrenbeo Áine was an education officer in Glenveagh National Park and previously worked with Eco-Unesco and TASC.
Caitriona is a professional ecologist with an interest in connecting people with nature, which is the focus of her current research. She is the Principal Investigator on a jointly funded EPA/HSE three year project to assess how nature and environment can attain and restore (NEAR) health. Her interest in this area began when she worked as an ecologist with Natural England. She has considerable professional and voluntary experience in engaging members of the public. She works as a part time course coordinator, lecturer and principal investigator within Environmental Science in NUI Galway, based within the Applied Ecology Unit. Her talk will outline how the three researchers, Easkey Britton, Caitriona Carlin and Gesche Kindermann are working with communities, decision takers and policymakers to investigate Healthy Places, Healthy People: Nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing.
Vincent is a Research Fellow in Characterising and Catalysing Sustainable Resource and Energy Transition in Communities in Trinity College, Dublin. He is a community facilitator, education practitioner, applied researcher and lecturer fostering sustainability, resilience and behaviour change with and for communities. A specialist in facilitating individuals, groups and communities to measure their resource consumption and then to reinterpret it and develop solutions to lower it. He has Material Flow Analysis and Ecological Footprints now for over 95 Irish communities spanning the rural-urban divide working with schools, community-based organisations and residents across the country. He has fostered the deeper energy and resource use reduction in 24 communities and most recently working on the resource use measurement and green transition of Cloughjordan Ecovillage.
Brendan is the Manager of the EU award-winning Burren ‘farming for conservation’ programme. Brendan initially came to the Burren to do a PhD which explored the relationship between farming and heritage in the region. With his wife Ann O’Connor, he helped found Burrenbeo Teo, precursor to the Burrenbeo Trust, and was instrumental in developing place-based education programmes in the Burren including the 10-week Ecobeo programme that is now run in primary schools across the Burren and identified as a model of place-based education nationally. He served as a council member of The Heritage Council from 2005-2015, as a director of the European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism and as an Ashoka Fellow for Ireland. His interests relate to the relationship between people and their places and ways through which this relationship may be revived and enhanced for the benefit of both.
Jenny is a primary teacher, forest school leader, forager, cook, and group facilitator. She is passionate about connective ways to educate herself and others. She co-creates local community projects to enable people to share and learn together to reconnect to nature and to flourish. She introduced Forest School sessions for each child in her school, co-facilitated a 2-year project on Leadership for Sustainability in Wicklow, and is actively involved in Common Ground in Bray which is a members-based group dedicated to promoting a co-operative, mindful and ecological lifestyle. She runs summer courses for adults in bringing the curriculum outdoors and foraging walks on a seasonal basis.
Marion completed a degree in Social Pedagogy in 1986 in Germany. She moved to Ireland in 1988 to develop her farm. She certified as a Yoga and Meditation Teacher in 1996 and has since been teaching classes to adults and children. In 2006, she co-founded Crann Og EcoFarm (ecostayireland.com), as a venue for workshops, retreats and eco holidays in Co. Galway. Her love for nature and the body, mind and soul connection led her to develop Kids Eco Yoga in 2008, where she combines yoga with outdoor activities. To further upskill she trained as a Forest School Leader, Level 3 with Huathe, Open College Network UK in 2015 and in 2016 as a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides (ANFT). A dedicated webpage to her Nature Therapy Walks can be found on the following: https://ecostayireland.com/index.php/nature-therapy/
Michael Fortune has been a pioneer in the area of place base work in Ireland and his practice has widened the conversations regarding the intersection of traditional and contemporary culture. His life, interests and practice are an every ending, intertwined and inseparable mix of the ancient, the contemporary, the private, the public and the intangible.He has been the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries for his work, which he presents extensively nationally and internationally in a variety of contexts, ranging from gallery exhibitions and online presentations through to single screen presentations in film and video art festivals. Michael lives at the foot of Mount Leinster with Aileen and their three young children. More information is at www.michaelfortune.ie
Grace has a degree in botany but then spent eight years teaching computers and maths through animation design. From there she spent 5 years in landscape and garden design, did a year with an NPWS education centre, and contracted with a private outdoor adventure company teaching field studies from toddlers-adults. Since 2014, has run her own outdoor learning company www.gracefullandscape.com and is part of the Heritage in Schools panel for Wicklow. Her main target age group is primary schools. Grace alongside her partner Paul, have 32 allotments, & 5 hives and offer gardening, biodiversity, horticultural workshops at their base in Season Park Farm, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow.
Stephen started kayaking, and mountaineering at an early age through scouting and his father’s interest in the outdoors. He began his professional career as a primary school teacher in 1986 but continued a parallel interest in adventurous sports and later in adventure sports instruction. Following ten years working as a primary school teacher, with two career breaks to go on expeditions and to work for Canoeing Ireland, Stephen completed an M.Ed in University College Dublin looking at the learning process of Outdoor Education. In 1999, he took the opportunity of bringing both strands of adventure and education together and began lecturing on the BA in Outdoor Education at the Mayo Campus of GMIT. He has worked at GMIT Mayo Campus for the last 17 years with aspirant Outdoor Educators and has completed a MA in Outdoor and Experiential Learning in Cumbria University. He has maintained his initial interest in how young children can learn outside the classroom and also in the cultural aspects of landscape.
Sam is a specialist in place-based education. He has been leading outdoor learning in Scotland for ten years, and takes a lot of joy from going out into land with school groups. Sam has a wide variety of training and qualifications ranging from outdoor leadership qualifications, to an MSc in Human Ecology and a PhD in Place-Based Education. Sam helps young people and teachers explore their relationship to the places where they live. For him, these experiences link to the sustainability of the land and community, a sense of pride and responsibility, and increased mental and physical well-being. Taken as a whole this can be called a ‘sense of place.’ Sam uses various strategies to bring ‘place’ into young people’s lives: working with schools to develop their capacity to learn outdoors, involving the community and the local environment, running training courses for teachers, and contributing to research and policy development in ‘Learning for Sustainability’. Sam is the founder of the Shieling Project. http://www.theshielingproject.org/
Paul is a commercial landscaper with over 30 years’ experience. Previous projects include the largest Irish garden restoration project of Tony Ryan’s Lyons Demesne in Newcastle, Co.Kildare. Paul grows taxus baccata as a commercial crop. Paul alongside his partner Grace, have 32 allotments, & 5 hives and offer gardening, biodiversity, horticultural workshops at their base in Season Park Farm, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow. See www.landscape.ie www.nursery.ie for more information.
Kate is the Conservation and Education Officer for the Burrenbeo Trust with a degree and masters in Geology and a PGCE in secondary Geography. Among other things she coordinates the Burrenbeo Conservation Volunteers and the Burren Wild Child programme, taking children on interactive days out into the Burren. Kate works with over 450 children a year through our Burren Wild Child and our Ecobeo programmes as well as our Áitbheo place-based learning projects in secondary schools. She also freelances as a field studies instructor and cave guide with the Burren Outdoor Education Centre. Prior to joining Burrenbeo she was a geography teacher in the UK.
Barry originally trained as a solicitor. He discovered meditation ten years ago and has since trained as a yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance UK and as an MBSR mindfulness teacher with the Institute For Mindfulness Based Approaches. He teaches yoga and mindfulness in Dublin. In 2016 he co-founded Nature in Mind; an educational organisation that aims to help people improve their health and well-being through mindfully connecting with the natural world. Their underlying philosophy, supported by scientific research, is that sustaining a deep connection with nature is fundamental for human health and well-being. He runs regular “mindfulness in nature” workshops in the Dublin area, usually in parks and other wild places in or near the city and also in the Dublin mountains.
Michael, along with his wife Clodagh have been farming in the Burren for decades. They are part fo the Burren farming for conservation programme, The Burren Programme, an initiative scheme whereby the farmers are remunerated for the work they do in preserving the ecology of the region though farming. Both Michael and Clodagh have also been working as archaeologists in the Burren for over 15 years. They have surveyed numerous monuments in the Burren including many previously unrecorded sites. Their main interest is in prehistoric archaeology and their recent excavations at Fanore More and Doolin are part of their research. Much of this work has been carried out with the assistance of the Burren Conservation Volunteers. Michael is the Field Monument Advisor for Co. Clare.
Finola is the coordinator of a community based horticulture training programme in The Bessborough Centre, Cork. She is a qualified further education teacher with a MA in Medieval History and a passion for growing vegetables. She is interested in developing ways to support vulnerable members of the community to re-engage with people and place in the urban landscape, to grow while producing some food along the way and to see learning as a fun adventure! She is particularly interested in the social and therapeutic benefits that learning horticulture has for adults with poor mental health, learning difficulties, poor communication skills and low self-esteem. The Horticulture Local Training Initiative that she coordinates was awarded the Certificate of Excellence at the Cork Food Policy Council Awards at the start of this year.
Paula is the Programme Assistant with the Burren Programme (formerly the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme). The Burren first lodged its special place in her heart when carrying out her thesis work on the turloughs for her degree in botany, way back in the last millennium. Paula enjoys being out and about and sharing her enthusiasm for the Burren with anyone that will listen! Paula has recently completed her Masters in Environmental Sustainability, through University College Dublin. Again, her thesis brought her back to the Burren, looking at a special Burren butterfly, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Through Burren Conservation Volunteers, Paula is one of the Key Recorders for the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme and encourages others to set up butterfly transects. She recognises that the Burren is a magical place capable of inspiring people to use their talents creatively and is looking forward to being part of the Learning Landscape Symposium for 2017.
David is a marine biologist and a former lecturer in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. He enjoys giving engaging sessions on the tides, running workshops on identifying marine organisms and giving talks about living marine animals. David has run classroom and field-based activities with children and adults, particularly in the area of marine biology for many years.
Rory is an archaeologist and a stone mason that lives locally in the Galway Burren. He is a member of the national Heritage in Schools panel and does regular school tours and university teaching tours around the region. He is also a national tour guide visiting numerous heritage sites with visitors each year. Rory carries out regular workshops with the Burren Conservation Volunteers on dry stone walling, how to repair and the importance of their blueprint on the landscape. Rory loves telling stories and legends, he is from a very old clan from the Galway Burren and is very passionate about the region and its built heritage.
Dr Susan Pike is a Lecturer in Geography Education in the DCU School of STEM, Innovation and Global Studies, part of the new DCU Institute of Education. For the past 17 years she has led Geography Education in the institution. She holds a degree in Geography and a Master of Arts (Education) in Geographical and Environmental Education and her doctoral thesis was an in-depth investigation into children’s experiences in their localities. She was the lead author of Eco Detectives for the Department of the Environment and recently completed book for teachers, Learning Primary Geography: Ideas and Inspiration from Classrooms which draws on many examples of place based learning in schools across Ireland.
Karen is a ceramicist and arts facilitator, who has many years’ experience designing and delivering art projects for schools. She works mainly in the field of arts-based environmental education and has an MA by Research investigating the role of art in engaging children with their local environment. As well as delivering her own educational school programmes, such as ‘Exploring Biodiversity through Art’, she also works on the Heritage in Schools scheme and with ‘Primary Colours’- an arts programme for national schools for Sligo County Council Karen is a tutor on the Arts and Group Facilitation course at the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork and delivers training for youth workers, teachers and student teachers nationwide.
Paddy Woodworth is an author, journalist, lecturer and tour guide. He writes regularly for the Irish Times Environment Page. He has published two acclaimed books on the Basque Country. Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century (U of Chicago Press 2013) is a study of ecological restoration projects worldwide and in Ireland. A BioScience reviewer wrote: “Highly readable… This book. . . .will bring the concept and application of ecological restoration to a broader audience and will help inspire a new generation of restoration practitioners and researchers.” In the Dublin Review of Books, John Feehan wrote: “Over the past few years there have been several attempts at a more popular treatment [of restoration]… but Paddy Woodworth’s is certainly the best…could hardly be more timely.” He is a Research Associate at Missouri Botanical Garden, and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin. He is a founder member of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital, and is committed to working for better communication of environmental issues, nationally and to local communities and interest groups. www.paddywoodworth.com
Elaine is doing a PhD in Geography at NUI Galway. Elaine is hugely interested in and passionate about all things landscape, environment and community related. Intrigued by the rich and interactive society which is present and visible within the Burren, her research aims to explore how various communities connect with their landscape through association with Burrenbeo Trust, and from that identify the core benefits and outputs of doing so. Prior to her PhD, Elaine has worked with various community groups through her roles as Outreach Officer for the Discipline of Geography at NUIG, and ChangeX Burren Coordinator with ChangeX. She worked as Burrenbeo’s Community Engagement Officer during 2016.