Inspiring relationships between farming and nature are at the heart of the Burren Winterage weekend. The cattle are herded from the lowlands up to the highlands for grazing over the winter.
Inspiring relationships between farming and nature are at the heart of the Burren Winterage weekend which will run from 25th- 28th, October in Gort, Kinvara and the Burren region.
For farmers in the Burren, the turning of autumn to winter is marked by an intriguing; age-old agricultural practice, but one that is of crucial modern relevance.
It is during this period that cattle are herded from the lowlands up to the highlands for grazing over the winter.
The Burren provides a warm, dry place where they can rest, while the calcium-rich springs provide a source of water; the cattle are also surrounded by a great variety of edible plants.
Brendan Dunford, Co-founder of the Burrenbeo Trust said, "To celebrate this inspiring relationship between farming and nature in the Burren, each year the Burrenbeo Trust, together with the local community, joins the farmers on the October bank holiday weekend as they walk their cattle to the winter pastures."
He added, "But the weekend of Burren Winterage also brings with it an opportunity to recognise the broader role of farming in shaping the Irish landscape and its nature.”
He said a rich variety of events to engage and inspire has been organised all through the Winterage Weekend, in different places around the Burren.
Saturday, 27th October will have Patrick McCormack lead the unforgettable 'Herdsman's Walk', with fascinating stories and folklore about the Burren and its farmers.
On Sunday, October 28th, the community will join in the Winterage Cattle Drive - a long uphill walk with the farmers and the cattle to commemorate the practice of Winterage.
All through the weekend talks; workshops; field trips and a farm innovation fair have been planned as a part of the annual Burren Winterage School, where farmers from different parts of the country, as well as different parts of Europe, will come together to share their experiences and challenges around farming for nature.
Farming for Nature Awards
For the first time this year, Burrenbeo Trust will also partner in a national award ceremony for farmers who have done outstanding work on their farms for nature.
The Farming for Nature Awards will be held on the evening of Saturday, October 27th in Kinvara, Co. Galway."
Annalisa Murphy, Coordinator for the Burrenbeo Trust said:
"Members of the public can view short films on the six shortlisted farmers and vote here.”
“There is also an open invitation for people to share their own stories of positive connections between farming and nature using the comment box on the website."
While many of the events are free of charge, some of the ticketed events of the Winterage Weekend are fundraisers for the not-for-profit landscape charity, Burrenbeo Trust.
Image source: Burrenbeo Trust.