In 1997 Brady Shipman Martin produced a report in conjunction with the National Monuments Service outlining a Burren Monuments Strategy. The aims of the strategy were : ‘to identify monuments suitable for viewing and enjoyment by visitors and to make recommendations to facilitate this use, whilst ensuring the protection of the monuments and their context. An additional aim is to spread visitor pressure over a range of monuments.’
The recommendation was to create a series of routes that would link sets of monuments or attractions into distinct trails which can be promoted to different markets, age, activity or specialist groups.
Burren Connect has continued this work to identify sites suitable for managed access by visitors, secure agreements from landowners and provide appropriate facilities to provide access, interpretation and management of the sites and promote them as a series of ‘trails’.
Themed Trails: The 1997 Monuments Strategy was reassessed and experts were commissioned to investigate a range of potentially sustainable botanical and geological sites. If the landowners of the identified sites are in agreement, these reports will be the basis for the development of a work programme involving the landowners and other stakeholders (excavation, conservation, parking, pathways, interpretation, signage) to prepare the identified sites for public access.
All proposals involving the use of, or access through, private lands will be agreed with landowners before the proposals are made public.
Digital Map: A digital interactive map template has been designed for use in the future promotion of these trails.
Heritage Tours Feasibility Study: As a result of discussion with a number of local landowners and the North Clare Farm Family Support Service, and in order to investigate options for managed access to privately owned lands and their sites of natural and cultural interest, a study was commissioned by the Burren Connect Project to investigate the feasibility of setting up a Co-op offering guided visits to sites of interest on local farms.
This report is part of an effort by the project to investigate opportunities to provide managed access organised and led by landowners and to identify opportunities for the development of sustainable/eco-tourism style products that directly benefit landowners. The co-op is currently being constituted.
For information on trails that are currently in use please go to http://www.shannonregiontrails.ie/trailsearch or further information.