The celebration honors the local community, highlighting the generations of farmers in the Burren who’ve made the beautiful Clare landscape what it is today. There will be reenactments of ancient pastoral and Samhain traditions, songs, stories and food – and a chance to experience the rocky Burren landscape from the farmer’s perspective.
The “winterage” tradition began hundreds of years ago – farmers mark the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the rough, limestone uplands. The Burren is one of the only places in the world where it’s still in practice.
The continuation of these age-old grazing systems creates a better environment for locals and visitors to enjoy. They support a burgeoning eco-tourism industry and contribute greatly to the Burren’s emerging identity as Ireland’s learning landscape.
Local charity community The Burrenbeo Trust is coordinating the culturally rich festival along with local businesses and the community.
Roughly one thousand farm families live and work in the Burren region, which is enclosed within a circle made by the villages of Ballyvaughan, Kinvarna, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna.
By maintaining ther ancestors' pastoral tradition of “out-wintering” cattle the farmers continue to produce healthy, free-range livestock, which is in great demand across Ireland and beyond. The traditions have also been scientifically proven as critical to the survival of the Burren’s famous flowers.
Events will take place in various locations across the Burren to celebrate not just the unique farming traditions, but also to highlight and support the broader significance of pastoral farming in shaping much of the Irish landscape.
Visit the Burren Winterage website for more details.