Eco policy

County Clare Farm Heritage Tours Co-op

Why we were formed

The Burren is acknowledged as being one of the jewels in the crown of tourism in the west of Ireland if not on the island as a whole. The farming practises carried out down through the ages are recognised by all as being the principal force that generated the phenomenal diversity of species and ecosystems that make up the  Biodiversity of the Burren

 

Your exploration of this fantastic place with us aids its preservation

By generating a supplementary income as a result of the co-op the farmer can remain involved in farming and thus maintain the grazing regime that is so important to the sustainability of the area. Your visit helps the preservation of this unique place.

Profitability is essential on these farms in order to maintain the stocking densities necessary for the sustainable grazing of the area. The grazing regimes that have evolved down through time have created and maintained the biodiversity that we see today. These grazing systems need to continue in order to protect the Burren itself.

 

 

The Co-op encourages visitors to interact with the community its local service providers particularly the “Burren Ecotourism Network” (BEN) and to slowly explore our place getting to know the area and its people. In the process you will collect memories and knowledge that will continue to please for a lifetime.

Our commitment to sustainability in tourism, farming and rural communities.

1. All our farms are actively producing cattle for the beef trade, using an ancient traditional farming system unique to the Burren,

2 The tour clients will learn how this method is proven to be the only way to protect this environmentally sensitive land and maintain the biodiversity that exists.

3. All farms have an archaeological audit done by Michael Lynch (National Monuments Supervisor) with a strong emphasis on conservation and protection of the individual sites

4. All farms are to have a Biodiversity audit compiled which will insure recognition and consequently protection of vulnerable areas.

5. The geological reports carried out by Dr Marie McNamara on all the farms have increased our awareness of the environmental sensitivities of the area.

6. Adherence to good farming practise is a must for participation in the Co-Op

7. We try to keep group sizes down to 14 i.e. minibus size. It is better for everyone including the Burren

8. All the tours are walking tours. Your carbon foot print is not affected 

9. Car pooling is a great way to reduce energy use and allows people to get to know one another. We encourage this whenever practicable.


Memberships , Affiliations and groups involved with our project 

Burren Connect  www.burrenconnect.ie –Burren Connect works to develop a visitor management and environmental protection strategy for the region. They have been involved with us from the start. We are very grateful for their assistance and help and advice.

 

 X-PO Community Centre Kilnaboyx-pokilnaboy.blogspot.com/

X-PO is a self-sustaining cultural hub and gathering point for local clubs in the Kilnaboy community. It is situated in the former post office. We work closely with the Kilnaboy Mapping Group who are based in the X-PO and are working on a Heritage council funded project.

 

The Heritage Council  http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/

The Heritage Council seeks to protect and enhance the richness, quality and diversity of our national heritage for everyone. It works with its partners, particularly at local level, to increase awareness of Ireland’s national heritage and to highlight its importance to public policy and everyday life. We are grateful to the Heritage Council for its funding assistance in scrub removal and access improvement to many of our sites

 

REPS (Rural Environment Protection Scheme),

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/ruralenvironment/ruralenvironmentprotectionschemereps/ All our members have been involved in the REPS.

A Scheme designed to reward farmers for farming in an environmentally friendly manner. One of its aims is to improve the environment on existing farms and improve environmental awareness..

 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service http://www.npws.ie/en/                         The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government and is charged with the conservation of a range of habitats and species in Ireland. They have helped us with advice on access improvement and scrub removal.

Burrenlife  http://www.burrenlife.com/ The Burren LIFE Project is the first major farming for conservation project in Ireland. It has worked closely with Burren farmers and other experts to create a blueprint for farming in the Burren, through which farmers can earn a decent living from the land and continue their longstanding role as producers of quality food and custodians of a magnificent heritage and landscape

 

  • Awareness/Advocacy

It is our intention to complete the  “Leave no trace “ training course for next season.

Leave No Trace  http://www.leavenotraceireland.org/ 

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Be Considerate of Others
  3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
  4. Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
  5. Leave What You Find
  6. Dispose of Waste Properly
  7. Minimise the Effects of Fire

Burrenbeo www.burrenbeo.com,

 Burrenbeo (‘the living Burren‘) is a multidimensional resource for the Burren region. Its function is to promote and support the sustainable management and use of the unique landscape and heritage of the Burren, in an accessible, inclusive and effective manner.  Our co-op has run a number of free farm tours in conjunction with Burrenbeo. We have applied for corporate membership of this valuable organisation.

.Clare.ie http://www.clare.ie/ is one of the best resources to get information on accommodation and activities in the area

 

 

Burren Code www.burrenconnect.ie/burren_code/burren_code.html

We have adopted the principles of the Burren Code to help safeguard this important landscape:

• Leave the limestone pavement as you find it*

• Preserve natural habitats and leave wildflowers undisturbed.

Take care not to damage monuments, walls and buildings

• Respect landowners, their property and their livestock

• Park and camp in designated areas

• Leave no trace of your visit, take nothing but memories.

*Limestone Pavement is listed as a “Priority Habitat” in the European Habitats Directive, 1992,
and is protected by law.

 

 We are members  of the Burren Eco tourism Network .