Achievements to date
Since its inception in 2008, Burrenbeo Trust has achieved a phenomenal amount with very little resources but with a huge amount of community support.
We currently have over 25 annual programmes and feel we are making a real difference to our local heritage, economy and community. We would not have been able to do so without the help of our supporters, so we wish to say a big THANK YOU to all those that have enabled this to happen! Here is a synopsis of what we have achieved over the past 12 years.
Áitbheo Primary (previously named Ecobeo)
2003 – present
Graduated over 1,841 Young Burren Experts through the 9 week Áitbheo (previously named Ecobeo) heritage programme in 36 different local primary schools since its inception in 2003 .
Graduated over 370 Place Heroes through our Áitbheo Secondary active place-based learning programme for Transition Year students in local secondary schools.
Burren Wild Child
Developed our Burren Wild Child summer tours, summer camps and school visits connecting over 1000 children to their local landscape through fun and interactive ways.
Learning Landscape Symposium
Coordinated an annual Learning Landscape Symposium focusing on connecting people to their places. Over 500 people have attended to date.
Delivered 5-day long summer courses for teachers and other heritage educators on using the local environment as a teaching resource. This has been complemented with podcasts and resource handbooks. Over 154 Primary school teachers and heritage educators from 16 different counties have trained on our place-based education courses since 2014; this is central to spreading our model of place-based learning nationally.
Connecting Groups to the Burren
Provided orientation sessions for numerous visiting groups from universities, schools and adults at our Kinvara office, onsite in the Burren and at selected locations.
Burrenbeo Conservation Volunteers
Coordinated and developed the growing body of 300 plus Burrenbeo Conservation Volunteers to carry out active conservation in a range of areas from scrub cutting to butterfly monitoring, litter picking to archaeology survey, and much more in between.
The Burren Pine Project
Launched a unique ecological restoration project to bring back the Irish native pine from the brink of extinction and establish native pine dominated woodland communities in species-poor areas of the Burren. The aim of this project is to plant at least 500 native pine trees along with 1500 native companion species every year.
The Hare’s Corner Project
Launched an initiative to help farmers and landowners make more space for nature through creation of mini woodlands, mini orchards and ponds for wildlife.
Monthly Burrenbeo Snapshot
Send a free monthly e-newsletter on news and events of Burrenbeo Trust to a growing base of subscribers which currently stand at 3,179.
Monthly Heritage Walks and Winter Tea Talks
Coordinated a monthly heritage walks and winter talks with a knowledgeable leader. Since 2020 hosted monthly webinars on different aspects of the Burren’s heritage.
Burren in Bloom Festival
Coordinated the annual Burren in Bloom festival in Spring with a range of walks and talks to celebrate the wide range of flora that blooms at this time of the year.
Developed successful field guides on the geology, archaeology, flora, fauna and habitats of the Burren. They continue to be sold across the Burren and beyond through our online shop and will go to their 3rd reprint shortly due to popular demand.
Podcasts, Screencasts and Videos
Developed podcasts on the work of our Burrenbeo Trust Conservation Volunteers, the Ecobeo course, the Winterage Weekend and more. Since 2019, we also recorded and made publicly available Burrenbeo winter talks and events that were part of the online Burren in Bloom and Winterage Weekend festivals.
Advocacy & Research
Burren Winterage Weekend
Developed and coordinated the Burren Winterage Weekend to highlight the important relationship between farming and biodiversity in the region, this includes the internationally attended Burren Winterage School.
Young Burren Ambassador Bursary
Developed an annual bursary to encourage young adults to engage with their environment. This was set up in memory of Trust co-founder Ann O’Connor Dunford. Each year a walk on the 14th July is carried out to raise money for this bursary.
We have assisted a PhD student in their investigations around the impact that landscape charities like Burrenbeo Trust are having on the wellbeing of people and place. We have supported staff member, Aine Bird with her Masters in Education (which she has now completed with a distinction) investigating the benefits of place-based learning in the community. She has now moved onto a PhD on the same subject.
Burrenbeo have been promoting the Burren as a learning landscape to increase engagement for visiting and local communities to the region so that they are more likely to care for it into the future.
Burren Community Charter Project
Burrenbeo Trust are the lead partners and administrators of the Burren Community Charter Project that came together to create a voice for the Burren.
Each year the Burrenbeo Trust launches a photography competition around flowers and farming in the Burren to get people more engaged in the landscape.
Continue to promote the Burren in both regional and national media throughout the year so that it is at the forefront of peoples’ agendas.
Work closely with key local organisations such as the Burren LIFE Programme, the Burren Geopark, the Burren Irish Farmers Association, the Burren Change X Project, Burren Eco-Tourism Network and others to create more of a communal voice in the region.
- Has a policy of using local suppliers.
- Promotes local businesses through our website, our business network and whenever opportunities arise.
- Employs 6 permanent part-time staff.
- Holds a lease on an office in Kinvara.
- Approximately 70% of our expenditure is local.
Ocean Hero Awards 2016
Shortlisted for this award to communities that contribute to the conservation of the landscape. This is apart of the An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Symposium.
Social Entrepreneurs of Ireland 2015
Shortlisted out of 230 different organisations as part of the Social Entrepreneurs of Ireland Awards. We were the only environmental charity to be shortlisted.
European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage 2015
Received a Special Mention from the Jury for our Project ‘Burrenbeo Trust – Empowering Local Communities’.
Clean Coasts Awards 2014
Newcomer of the year award for our work on beach cleans.
Galway Mayor Awards 2013 & 2014
Received an award for our contribution to Heritage in Co. Galway.
Galway Heritage Awards 2012
Received the overall top award for heritage in Co. Galway competing against over 200 others.
RDS Spring Awards 2022
Received Special Commendation – Rural Social Impact Award.
HRH Prince Charles 2015
Alongside the Burren farming community coordinated the 1st trip of HRH Prince Charles to the Burren.
Annual Burren Galas 2012, 2013, 2014
Developed a Burren evening inviting local dignitaries to events in Dublin, Limerick and Galway in subsequent years.
Burren Insight 2009-2014
Produced 6 annual flagship magazines on research and stories from the Burren region.
Learning Landscape Feasibility Study 2014
Carried out in-depth research into developing the Burren as a place of inspiration from which people can learn.
Young Burren Leader 2014
Developed a scholarship so a young adult from the Burren region could attend the world’s largest conservation conference in Sydney and bring back ideas to Ireland. Through this the scholar, Cillian Fahy, developed a social media project with local schools, getting them outside called #BurrenInsideOut.
Culture Night 2012
Coordinated numerous different cultural events as part of the national culture night including performances form national artists. Total attendances to concerts was over 600 people.
Working for Wellbeing of People and Place 2016
Coordinated an event to celebrate the role conservation volunteering has in enhancing communities and environments throughout Ireland.