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 speakers & workshop topics 2019 – still more to come!
- Áine Bird, Burrenbeo Trust (The potential for place-based learning)
- Meaghan Carmody, Friends of the Earth (Towards a Safer Climate: Community Organising and Movement-Building in Frontline Populations)
- Mary Corcoran, NUI Maynooth (Place matters: exploring the enduring significance of place in the modern world)
- Paddy Woodworth & Craig Bullock, Irish Forum on Natural Capital (What is a native forest really worth?)
- Hedda Dick, Brigit’s Garden (Place-based sustainability: our home the earth)
- Brendan Dunford, The Burren Programme (Farming for Nature)
- Louise Fitzgerald, (Moving beyond outdated worldviews & What this means for our movements)
- Ray Foley, LEAF (Irish forests A-Z. A walking conversation)
- Mary Greene, NUI Galway (Trashing the Planet – Who is responsible? Exploring design thinking & community activism as tools for engagement)
- Laura Kravac, Action for Conservation (Empowering the next generation of environmental leaders)
- Kate Lavender, Burrenbeo Trust (Place-based learning through play)
- Kathryn McCabe (Deep Ecology; harnessing emotional intelligence to propel engagement and action.
- Caithriona McCarthy, The Edible Landscape (Taking the Power Back – Climate Change and the Food We Eat)
- Joanna McInerney, Burren Outdoor Education Centre (Outdoor Team Building)
- Neil Jackman & Róisín Burke, Abarta Heritage (Telling a Tale – storytelling techniques and methods for cultural and natural heritage.)
- Lorcan Scott, Heritage Council (“Wild? I was livid!” The role of The Heritage Council’s Wildlife Officer.)
- Sabine Springer (Causeway to Clare, between the rocks and a soft place)
- Tomás Ó Ruairc , Teaching Council (“Into the great wide open” – landscapes for learning.)
- Goska Wilokwska (Tame the name – how to remember all these species?)
Contributor biographies are included further down this page.
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 8th February.
€80: This is the price after the 8th February.
For Burrenbeo Trust members it will remain at €65 until bookings close – you have to have your membership card number handy when booking.
The event has been supported in the past by
How do I book?
Booking is on a first come, first served basis. In previous years, it has booked out 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 Ticket Tailor 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 Ticket Tailor 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.
I’m a Heritage in Schools specialist, do I get a discount?
Please contact Maria Walsh email@example.com if you are a Heritage in Schools specialist and wish to attend please get in touch with Maria directly. If you are a Heritage in Schools Specialist please tick the appropriate box on the booking 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Fri 8th March Discussion & Cross-pollination PM
7-7.30 A mix up – getting to know the crowd. Led by Burrenbeo Trust
7.30 – 9 Welcome followed by A series of talks on trends & developments in place-based learning
Sat 9th March Workshops
10-12.30 Workshop 1 (x5)
2-4.30 Workshop 2 (x5)
6-7.30 Who’s Who: A evening with displays to share food followed by a talk.
Sun 10th March Workshops & Walk
10- 12.30 Workshop 3 (x5)
1.30 – 2 Review & Reflect
2.30 – 4.30 Optional Walk in the Burren with local farmer.
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
- Áine Bird, Burrenbeo Trust
Áine Bird has been Education and Communications Officer for the Burrenbeo Trust since 2012. In this role she develops and coordinates place-based education programmes including the Áitbheo primary and secondary programmes which the Trust delivers to over 300 young people a year. With a background in botany, she has a masters in Science Communication, is a heritage in schools specialist and recently completed a Master in Education at NUI Galway with a focus on place-based education. In October 2018, Áine commenced an Irish Research Council funded employment based PhD project focused on evaluating the impact of place-based learning in the Burren region and the potential for knowledge transfer to other regions. Prior to Burrenbeo Áine was an education officer in Glenveagh National Park and previously worked with Eco-Unesco and TASC.
- Meaghan Carmody, Friends of the Earth
Meaghan has been with Friends of the Earth Ireland for just over three years. Her role as Head of Mobilisation encompasses education, activism and outreach, supporting people to get involved in the movement for positive environmental change. She is an experienced group facilitator, specialising in grassroots organising, supporting groups and individuals to develop the skills necessary to carry out campaigns for environmental and climate justice. She has extensive experience designing effective, participatory workshops and multi-session trainings to build the campaigning capacity of potential organisers. She also has ample experience in coordinating large groups, including the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, a coalition of 30+ organisations campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share on climate, and Young Friends of the Earth, a grassroots volunteer group working to advance global climate justice. Her passion for building and maintaining partnerships and networks in the grassroots campaigning sector is central to her work, and she hopes to see the work she does inspire people to work together to take action for positive change.
- Mary Corcoran, NUI Maynooth
Mary P. Corcoran is Professor of Sociology at Maynooth University and the recipient of an EPA-Fulbright award in 2018-19. Her research interests are primarily in the fields of migration, urban transformation and public cultures. She has published widely on these topics, and most recently has been investigating the relationship between food security, environmental stewardship and civil society.
- Paddy Woodworth & Craig Bullock, Irish Forum on Natural Capital
Paddy Woodworth: environmental journalist, author of ‘Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century’; founding member of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital.
Craig Bullock: Environmental and economic consultant with a working interest in environmental policy and impact assessment, and a personal interest in wildlife, recreation and the outdoors.
- Hedda Dick, Brigit’s Garden
Hedda Dick is the Environmental Education Officer at Brigit’s Garden, Roscahill, Co. Galway working to connect people of all ages with nature and to engage in both local and global sustainability issues. Since qualifying with an MSc in Sustainable Development from DIT, Hedda has worked in sustainability education and engagement in a range of settings. At Brigit’s Garden, Hedda’s main role is to develop and deliver primary and pecondary school programmes as well as working with volunteer gardeners to care for the garden.
- Brendan Dunford, The Burren Programme
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.
- Louise Fitzgerald, UCD
Louise Michelle Fitzgerald is an environmental and climate justice researcher & activist. Her activist work has included being an active member of the Berlin Fossil Free Divestment group, which succeeded in campaigning the Berlin parliament to divest its 80million fund of public fund from fossil fuels. She is particularly passionate about developing holistic solutions to our current environmental and social challenges and continues her activist work within environmental justice groups both in Ireland and Europe-wide. She is also interested in Ecofeminism, Systems Theory and Deep Ecology, and in particular is trained in the Work That Reconnects as developed by Joanna Macy.
- Ray Foley, Green Schools & LEAF
Ray Foley Forest Education Officer with An Taisces Environmental Education Unit.
Originally a secondary school teacher Ray went back to study environmental science. He has since worked on various environmental programmes including Green Schools and Climate Ambassadors. He now works on An Taisces LEAF Programme based in Limerick. This initiative educates primary and secondary level children on the social, environmental and economic benefits of forests.
- Roisin Garvey, Green Schools
Róisín Garvey, Mother, ex teacher, Green-Schools Environmental Education Officer.11 years working full time with the Green-Schools Programme in schools in Clare Galway and Limerick. Passionate environmentalist and community activist both inside and outside work.
- Mary Greene, NUI Galway
Dr Mary Greene is a lecturer in Human Geography in the Discipline of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway).
Mary specialises in the social-scientific study of sustainability and environmental change. In addition to her work as an academic researcher, I have experience teaching at all levels on subjects relating to society-environment relations.
Outside of academia, Mary is actively committed to working with communities on issues relating to social and environmental justice and change. Mary will be assisted by Claire MacKenzie in her workshop.
- Laura Kravac, Action for Conservation
Laura Kravac is the Programme Manager for Action for Conservation, a young environmental charity with a mission to bring the magic of nature into young people’s lives and inspire a youth movement committed to conservation and the earth. www.actionforconservation.org
- Kate Lavender, Burrenbeo Trust
Kate has 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 Áitbheo primary and secondary place-based learning programmes. 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.
- Kathryn McCabe
Kathryn Mc Cabe studied Science and Applied Physics at Maynooth University, however continued seeking academic pathways that would explore a big picture approach to changing the world. A radical masters in Australia, Social Ecology, enabled her to engage with complex systems, design context-specific change strategies and, crucially, feel inspired about what is possible when people feel respected and trusted to take their next step towards transformation.
She now works as an independent consultant designing programmes for groups that are engaged in change; community, schools, business. She has lectured at the University of Western Sydney, has worked internationally guiding NGOs and large multinationals towards sustainability and well-being. She has a special interest in youth Rites of Passage; delivering a summer program on Vancouver Island, Canada. She is a published author in Social Ecology; Applying Ecological Thinking to Our Lives and Our work.
- Caithriona McCarthy, The Edible Landscape
Caithriona McCarthy founded the Edible Landscape Project in 2012. It was while living in Spain that she became acutely aware of the importance of community, the food we eat as a community, and how and where that food is grown. This experience, and her subsequent experience advising small Irish development organisations on sustainable business development, led her to create the Edible Landscape Project. She now combines her time as a lecturer in Sustainable Horticulture and Entrepreneurship at Westport College of Further Education (WCFE) in Co. Mayo, with developing community based sustainability projects.
- Joanna McInerney, Burren Outdoor Education Centre
Joanna is the director of the Burren Outdoor Education and Training centre OETC), one of two OETCs in Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. Joanna has been involved in outdoor learning for over 30 years, designing and delivering programmes to range of groups and learners. Joanna also has a love for adventure, is a keen sea kayaker and has travelled extensively on all sorts of trips and expeditions.
- Neil Jackman & Róisín Burke, Abarta Heritage
Neil and Róisín are both archaeologists and directors of Abarta Heritage, an award winning company based in Clonmel, Tipperary. Abarta Heritage works with national bodies such as the Heritage Council, local authorities, and communities to help to promote, interpret preserve and protect Ireland’s heritage. Abarta’s work includes the management of the Adopt a Monument Scheme and various interpretation and community-focused heritage projects.
- Lorcan Scott, Heritage Council
I studied Environmental Science in UUC before taking up a career with the National Parks & Wildlife Service, starting in the Wicklow Mountains National Park as a Park Ranger, in 1998 I moved post to the lowlands of Co. Kilkenny. In 2001 I punctuated my NPWS career with a secondment to Carlow CoCo as Heritage Officer for 3 years before resuming employment with NPWS as District Conservation Officer covering the South East counties of Carlow; Kilkenny & Wexford. In 2015 I was placed as Peatlands DCO responsible for Raised Bog issues in both the Eastern & Southern NPWS divisions. In December last, I took up my current post as Wildlife Officer with the Heritage Council, based in Kilkenny and I have a national role with this post.
- Sabine Springer
I began my professional life as a veterinary laboratory technician, working with veterinarians on farms and clinics in Germany. Returning to university in Ireland I obtained a Bachelor of Science( Hons) in Botany and a Masters degree in Environmental Science on otter distribution / ecology from NUIG.
At the same time I began printmaking in GMIT in the evenings and had my first exhibition in the gallery in NUIG at the end of my primary degree three years later. It was all about learning and expressing of knowledge, some as research and some as art, which led to several exhibitions in Europe and a few book illustrations.
At the moment I am trying to bind science and art together again but this time with plastic installations to highlight the plight of the marine environment, in particular the dangers to animals. I am a longterm active member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Coastwatch and the newly formed Cuan Beo (inspired by the work of Burren Beo). My connection with the Burren began 1993, while working with the Burren Wildlife Foundation in Fanore . The special interest in the coastal edge of the Burren began there and I have been living close to the coast of the Burren ever since
- Tomás Ó Ruairc, Teaching Council
Tomás started his career teaching Irish and history at Athlone Community College. He was head of the Irish Department in Froebel College of Education from 2000 for five years and Education Programme Manager at Foras na Gaeilge before becoming Deputy CEO in 2007. He held the post of chair of Meitheal Chinnireachta (Leadership Forum) and of the Network for the Promotion of Linguistic Diversity and sat on the Council of the NCCA from 2006-2009. In 2009, Tomás became a Director in the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht before taking on his current role as Director of the Teaching Council in 2012
- Goska Wilokwska
Goska Malgorzata Wilkowska is a part of Nature’s PATCH Network (www.patchireland.com), a non-for-profit organisation aiming to raise awareness on biodiversity loss and climate change issues. She holds a Master degree in Environmental Biology and works as a consultant ecologist. Goska provides biodiversity workshops in primary schools under the Heritage in Schools Scheme and has cooperated with the National Parks and Wildlife Service as a Curlew Champion. She is engaged in numerous community projects, including MWM Peatland Heritage Group concerned with protection of Ballivor bogs and Ounamoun Nature Reserve aiming to protect Lough Ree biodiversity. She has provided nature-related talks and workshops to people of all ages for last 8 years.