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Burren Residents to Discuss Geopark Idea

Source: Published:Oct 30,2008

The Burren Connect Project is holding a series of Public meetings to discuss the merits and any potential drawbacks of Geopark status.

A Geopark is a region with significant geological value that operates programmes of education, conservation and sustainable economic development. As such, it brings a globally recognised status that can attract visitors, especially those interested in ecotourism-type holidays and breaks. Geopark status has no statutory implications and does not affect planning decisions, agricultural practices or access issues.

Burren Connect Manager, Carol Gleeson believes that the experience of Geoparks in Copper Coast (Waterford) and Marble Arch Caves (Cavan/Fermanagh) could make it a relevant designation for the Burren. “As progress on sustainable tourism and conservation proposals become increasingly important for the Burren area, Geopark designation could bring some very important benefits to the area. Geopark focuses on three main areas - education, conservation and sustainable economic development. Many of these things are already happening in the Burren and Geopark status would bring international recognition of this. As Geopark status does not mean landowner restrictions or visitor access to private property, it is seen as a positive way to integrate the efforts of landowners, tourism promoters, conservationists and scientists.”

Burren Connect has received funding to employ a geologist, Dr Maria McNamara, who is working on this issue with individuals and representatives of various local and regional groups, including local landowners, the Burren IFA, Burren Life, the North Clare Area Network and state agencies. Maria and other members of the Burren Connect team are holding a series of public information meetings on Geoparks. All are welcome to attend at the venues in the panel below. Michael Davoren of Burren IFA is encouraging as many Burren dwellers and farmers to attend and find out as much as possible about the Geopark idea,

Monday 3rd November:
Community Hall, Tubber
Tuesday 4th November
Burren Centre, Kilfenora
Wednesday 5th November
Hotel Doolin, Doolin
Thursday 6th November
Burren Outdoor Education Centre, Turlough, Belharbour
Monday 10th November
Clare Genealogical Centre, Corofin
Tuesday 11th November
O’Donoghue’s Pub, Fanore
Thursday 13th November
Michael Cusack Centre, Carran
Monday 17th November
Hyland’s Hotel, Ballyvaughan
Tuesday 18th November
XPO, Kilnaboy (7.45pm)