Learning Landscape Symposium 9th-11th March 2018.
BOOKINGS NOW OPEN! This page will be updated as details become available. BOOK HERE
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 to date – more exciting ones to come
- Davie Philip, Cultivate (Place Based Resilience – Community Learning & Adaptation)
- Grace Garde (It’s all about the bees! Understanding their behaviour, ecology, and how can we help)
- Kate Lavender, Burrenbeo Trust (Exploring nature through fun & games)
- Marc Barker (Nature-Based Mentoring –Cultivating Connection to Place)
- Áine Bird, Burrenbeo Trust (Áitbheo – tools to learn and teach about your local place)
- Laura Kennedy (Nature Play- our landscape is a playground)
- Pat Broderick (From Field to Fireside from Seed to Seat)
- Kathryn McCabe (Deep Ecology; harnessing emotional intelligence to propel engagement and action)
- Dr Robbie Nicol, University of Edinburgh (One step at a time: the art of peripatetic engagement with people and places)
- Shane Casey, Biodiversity Dublin (Wildlife writing for kids)
- Joanna McInerney (More than Adventure)
- Ros O’Maolduin, Prehistoric Field School of Archaeology (Knowing place: Investigating and recording the material remains of past peoples’)
- Easkey Britton, NEAR Health (‘What do communities want from their nearby green and blue environment for their health and wellbeing?’)
- Shane Furlong & Sky Maria Buitenhaus (Wild By Nature: Nature Connection for a Sense of Belonging and Becoming)
- Oonagh O’Dwyer, Wild Kitchen (See Seaweed in a different way)
- Paula Martin & Barry Lee, Beohealth (An Introduction to Mindfulness, using the natural world as a gateway to presence)
- Helene O’Keeffe, Heritage Council (The Heritage Council: Valuing People and Place)
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 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.
The event is supported 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 email@example.com.
I’m a Heritage in Schools specialist, do I get a discount?
In previous years the Heritage Council have part-supported Heritage in Schools Specialists attending the event. We are awaiting budget confirmations in February from the Heritage Council. It is hoped that as in previous years specialists will be able to claim back a percentage of the fee after attending the event. Unfortunately it is unlikely mileage costs will be covered in 2018.
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 9th 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 10th 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 11th March Workshops & Walk
10- 12.30 Workshop 3 (x5)
1.30 – 2 Review & Reflect
2.30 – 4.30 Optional Walk in the Burren with farmer 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
After graduating with a degree in Forestry from U.C. Berkeley, Marc found his way out of the rolling hills of California and into the dense woodlands of upstate New York. There, he completed trainings in Nature Mentoring, Human Ecology and Social Neuroscience, as well as Survival Skills. He spent the last 5 years as a Senior Instructor for various environmentally-based programs in Ithaca NY, and now resides in Newcastle, Co Wicklow. He specializes in nature-based mentoring – teaching people of all ages outdoor skills in the framework of cultivating a deep connection to self, community, and the natural world. Learn more at: https://natureconnectireland.wordpress.com/
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 Bird is the Education and Communications Officer for the Burrenbeo Trust. In this role she develops and coordinates the 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. Prior to Burrenbeo Áine was an education officer in Glenveagh National Park and previously worked with Eco-Unesco and TASC.
Dr. Easkey Britton, Founder of Like Water, is a pioneering big-wave surfer and marine social scientist specialising in ‘blue space, how water environments benefit our health & wellbeing. Currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Whitaker Institute and member of the research cluster for Social Innovation, Participation and Policy (SIPP) where she co-leads the interdisciplinary NEAR-Health work package on nature-based solutions: a framework to use coastal blue and green space to restore health and wellbeing.
Her parents taught her to surf when she was four years old and her life has revolved around the ocean ever since. With a PhD in Environment and Society from University of Ulster, Britton’s work explores the relationship between people and the sea, using her passion for the ocean to create social change and connection across cultures, including pioneering women’s surfing in Iran (featured in the award winning documentary ‘Into the Sea’).
A graduate from THNK’s School of Creative Leadership, Easkey’s work is deeply influenced by the ocean and the lessons learned pioneering women’s big-wave surfing at spots like Mullaghmore, Co.Sligo, which led her to be invited to give an inspiring TEDx talk in 2013: Just Add Surf. Passionate about facilitating creative & collaborative processes, she uses the sea and surfing as an active metaphor to dive deep into the power of letting go & trusting in the process.
Pat Broderick hails from West Limerick and has a deep interest in Traditional Crafts and Folklore, he is married with two children and is passionate about preserving Irish Traditions for future generations, this he achieves through working with the Heritage Council, Museums, Universities, Schools and his own workshops.
Sky Maria Buitenhaus,
Sky Maria Buitenhuis has extensive experience supporting people to deepen their connection to nature-including our own inner nature as part of this larger natural landscape. She has worked as a facilitator for a variety of different programs as well as developing her own workshops and trainings. She is the co-founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, most recently working for three years as director of training and certification of ANFT’s forest therapy guide training program where she trained and mentored more than 100 people to follow their passions of becoming forest therapy guides.
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.
Shane has been Dublin City’s Biodiversity Officer since 2014, Parks Superintendent since 2017, and also currently acts as Coordinator of Dublin Bay Biosphere. Prior to 2014, Shane worked as Biodiversity Officer, Appropriate Assessment Officer, and Social Research Officer with Clare County Council. He is an advocate of environmental education, a Director of the Burrenbeo Trust, and a self-published children’s author of dyslexia-friendly books.
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.
Shane is and always has been awe-struck and captivated by the wonder in the little things and the sense of excitement and aliveness he feels in the outdoors. Noticing the intricate detail and rich relationships in the natural world, at scales ranging from molecular to Milky Way, climbing trees, running down mountains, surfing waves and screaming into the winds of thunderstorms are the moments when he feels most joyous and connected to himself.
During the troughs of life’s journey it is this anchor that he has returned to. This, a four year personal mindfulness practice and training as a Forest School Leader have led him to his current path as owner/operator of Wild Places, a service offering Nature Connection experiences and Nature Based Learning through in-school Forest School programs and Holiday Camps for young people and provide the fuel of motivation for his next steps.
Grace Garde is an Honours Graduate in Science (Botany) University College Dublin in 1997 with minor study to 3rd year in Zoology. Since graduation, she has worked on maths educational programmes, and computer software education programmes for the online market. In 2004, a career direction change brought her towards, landscape & garden design, in 2009 started working in environmental education with the NPWS; since then she has worked in outdoor education teaching infants to adults. Since 2013 she has worked with the Heritage Council on the Heritage in schools scheme teaching primary school children focusing on ‘all things related to nature, including horticulture’. Her remit is get the kids outdoors exploring. Her current interest is teaching about all things in nature.
Grace formed the first scuba-diving club in U.C.D. driven by her underwater interest in nature, and now she has a personal interest in bees, understanding their behaviour and ecology, plight of bees, and tools to help their recovery. She has completed a beginner’s bee-keeping course and has four hives managed by a local bee-keeper @ an allotment scheme where the bees act as a pollinator service to the local crops.
Laura Kennedy (Wondering Wild) is a forest school leader and children’s mindfulness teacher. She runs year-long forest school programmes with preschools and primary schools in the woods around Galway. She is part of the education team at Brigit’s Garden, is a Heritage Expert with the Heritage in Schools programme and also provides continuous professional development for teachers. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of and love for the natural world and shares nature connection activities at www.wonderingwild.ie
Dr. Gesche Kindermann is an environmental scientist with an interest in the interrelationships between the environment, its conservation, and human activity. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science and an MSc in Ecosystem Conservation and Landscape Management. In her current role as researcher with the NEAR Health project she leads on the work package investigating stakeholders’ values, motivations and barriers to using nature for health and wellbeing. Gesche has extensive experience in researching Irish ecosystems with an emphasis on their conservation management and a particular focus of her work is stakeholder engagement in this process. She is the academic coordinator for the MScs in Biodiversity and Land Use Planning and in Environmental Leadership at NUI Galway, and she is a research committee member with Leave no Trace Ireland, an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote responsible outdoor recreation.
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.
Barry Lee is the co founder of Nature in Mind; an educational organisation that aims to help people improve their well-being through mindfully connecting with the natural world. Barry originally trained as a solicitor. He discovered meditation 10 years ago and has since trained as a yoga teacher and as a mindfulness teacher with the Institute For Mindfulness Based Approaches. www.natureinmind.ie
Paula Martin is the Founder of ‘ Beo – Centre for Mindfulness & Integrated Health ‘. Paula is passionate in using mindfulness as a core principal to honour the potential of each human being to learn, grow, transform and heal. In her work Paula combines her training as a Mindfulness Facilitator ( The University of Massachusetts Medical School ), General Practitioner and Embodiment Dance Facilitator ( Open Floor International ). Paula offers mindfulness trainings and retreats in Healthcare settings, Medical education and Community. Paula runs a Holistic Women’s Health clinic in Co. Sligo. www.beomindfulhealth.ie, www.openfloor.ie .
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 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.
Joanna McInerney is the director of the Burren Outdoor Education Centre and has been involved in outdoor learning for over 25 years. She is involved in the design and delivery of a range of outdoor learning modules and believes the outdoors offers a unique, vivid and effective learning environment. She holds high level qualifications in both education and adventure. Joanna is an avid sea kayaker and has travelled extensively through kayaking and other trips.
Mark O’Callaghan has joined the Burrenbeo team from Galway to cover Brigid’s maternity leave. Working on communications and place-based education, Mark has long been interested in landscape and heritage and holds a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and an MSc in Ecosystem Conservation & Landscape Management. He has previously worked as a field ecologist throughout Ireland and as a guide in the Burren National Park, as well as at sites as diverse as the Skelligs, Glendalough and the National Botanic Gardens
Growing up in the country-side in Tipperary, the fields and forests were our playgrounds, and I developed a deep love of nature, wild plants and growing food, which has stayed with me since. A Horticulture Tutor, Wild Food Chef and Guide, passionate about local food and its origins, I created Wild Kitchen, a fully immersive wild food experience. Board member of Flag West, Fisheries Local Action Group who have an interest in the regeneration and sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture dependent communities in the Flag West area (the coastal area of Clare and Galway) including 10 kilometres inland. Oonagh is a member of the Burren Eco-Tourism Network since 2014.
Tralee-born historian, Dr Helene O’Keeffe is Head of Education and Communications at the Heritage Council. Her brief involves managing the educational strategy and communications of the Council and promoting its vision that the value of our heritage is enjoyed, managed and protected for the vital contribution it makes to our identity, wellbeing and future. A post-primary history teacher since 1999, Helene received a PhD on oral tradition and collective memory in 2009 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in UCC as researcher on the Atlas of the Irish Revolution.
Ros has over 20 years’ experience as an archaeologist. During that time, he has worked on remains of almost every human era in several countries, including 6 months in an African cave. He completed his PhD in 2015 and is now the field director of an NUI Galway summer fieldschool based in the Burren, The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology.
Davie Philip currently manages the Community Resilience Programme at Cultivate. He was a founding member of both FEASTA: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability and Sustainable Projects Ireland Ltd the company behind the ecovillage project in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary where he now lives. In 2000 he set up the Sustainable Ireland Cooperative with Ben Whelan which trades as Cultivate. With Cultivate he organises networking and learning events including the annual Convergence sustainable living festival and the Global Green area of the Electric Picnic, Ireland’s largest music and culture festival. Davie is a catalyst for the Transition Movement both in Ireland and internationally. From 2009 to 2011 he sat on the board of SEAI, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and currently is a board member of Grow It Yourself Ireland. He chairs the Cloughjordan Community Farm and is active in the education and research working group at Cloughjordan Ecovillage.
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.