Burren Life project up for top EU nature award
More than two decades after beginning its work on the distinctive limestone grassland habitat in Co Clare, the Burren Life Project has been short-listed for a prestigious EU award.
The programme, which successfully developed an evidence-based approach to managing species-rich grasslands, habitats and water quality on livestock systems in the region, is the only Irish project nominated for the EU 'Best Nature' Green Award.
The award recognises the most outstanding nature, conservation and climate action projects since the EU Life fund was established 25 years ago.
Brendan Dunford, founder and manager of the Burren Life Project and implementation programme said the nomination has brought great excitement to farm families in the area.
Although just 20 farmers were initially involved in the research, now there are upwards of 500 farmers participating in the project, which extends over roughly 720km of north Co Clare and south Co Galway.
"It's amazing. For a small project where there wasn't that many people involved at the beginning, and the budget was very limited, it has had a huge impact not only in the Burren but nationally and now internationally.
"It started in 2005 but for 10 years before that we were doing research with local farmers on the problems they faced so our research dates back to the late '90s. They are incredibly proud of what they have achieved so this nomination is very special," he said.
Farming is integral to the character and composition of the Burren.