THE BURREN – FLORA AND FAUNA
The Burren in County Clare is home to 1,100 species of plants out of the 1,400 in Ireland as a whole. It is the only place in Europe where Mediterranean and Arctic Alpine plants grow together in perfect harmony. Rare flowers include Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis), Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera), Fly Orchids (Ophrys muscifera), Irish Orchids (Neotinia maculate), Pyramidal Orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis), Lesser Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera bifolia) and Fragrant Orchids (Gymnadenia conopsia).
In terms of fauna, feral goats, foxes and hares are the most common mammals encountered when walking in the Burren. A number of more rare and elusive species such as the carnivorous pine martin, the snake-like slow worm, and the rare lesser horseshoe bat are also found there, as well as over 100 breeding birds and almost all of Ireland’s native butterfly species.
That so many fascinating species are found at the Burren is due to a happy coincidence of natural and cultural factors. As well as the unique growing environment provided by the thick limestone and thins soil, low impact traditional farming practices such as the ancient practice of winter grazing contribute to the presence of this rich flora.
Most of the Burren has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation, a title reserved for the very best natural environments in Europe. Visitors should treat this special place with the respect that it deserves and needs, don’t pick or trample flowers, don’t disturb the wildlife and enjoy their visit.
The Burren – Flora and Fauna
Burrenbeo Trust, Main Street
t: +353 (0)91 638096
Take a fully guided tour to see one of the world’s most compelling cave attractions, the Great Stalactite, at Doolin Cave. Donning a hard hat you will be taken over 200 feet under the flaggy limestone of the Burren landscape. You will venture back over 350 million years to see and learn how the Burren was formed and see what our world looked like back then.
The star of the show at Doolin cave is the Great Stalactite. It is the largest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere at an incredible 7.3 metres and weighing over 10 tonne. It is hard to believe that this enormous calcite formation was formed from a single drop of water over hundreds of thousands of years.
Afterward take your adventure above ground on the charming farmland nature trail. Meet friendly farmland animals and learn about the unique floral diversity of the Burren. Pygmy goats, Minnie and Vinnie are sure to melt your heart and brighten your day. The farmland nature trail is FREE to all cave visitors.
Doolin Cave visitor centre is complete with a café and gift shop. Doolin Cave pottery, handmade from glacial cave clay sourced deep within Doolin Cave, is available for purchase in the gift shop.
Wish away your worries and woes at Enchanted Hallow Fairy Village. The friendly fairies and troglodytes in Enchanted Hallow are happy to listen to all your worries and wishes and they will do their best to help you out. The fairies can be found on the nature trail in a magical glade near the original cave entrance.
• Flash photography is permitted in Doolin Cave. Visitors are encouraged to share their photos and videos on https://www.facebook.com/doolincaves or email email@example.com.
• Strollers and buggies are not permitted on the cave tour. Babies and small children must be carried.
• The visitor centre including the café and gift shop is fully accessible but there are steps to the cave and to the nature trail.
t: +353 (0)65 7075761
DOOLIN2ARAN FERRIES – ARAN ISLANDS & CLIFFS OF MOHER CRUISE
Sail to the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin pier. Doolin2Aran Ferries, sail daily to each of the Aran Islands from Doolin.
With Doolin2Aran Ferries customers can visit the spectacular Dún Aengus fort on Inis Mór, get away from it all on Inis Meáin, or take a quick thirty minute crossing to the smallest one, the beautiful island of Inis Oírr.
There are also cruises to see the scale and majestic beauty of the Cliffs of Moher on their one hour cruise or the option to visit Inis Oírr and the Cliffs of Moher in the same day.
The boats leave Doolin pier in County Clare daily. Doolin2Aran Ferries have two custom built boats that carry up to 70 passengers each.
Doolin2Aran Ferries – Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Cruise
t: +353 (0)65 7075949