PROGRAMME DATES : 3rd - 6th JUNE 2020

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Welcome to Burren in Bloom 2020 Online. All events are free. If you would like to support the Burrenbeo Trust, please consider becoming a member or donating at

Wednesday June 3rd (7 – 9pm)


  • Ireland in bloom - a vision for people and nature - an opening talk by Jane Stout with Q&A

(45 mins) 

Jane Stout is a professor of Botany at TCD and her research expertise is in the field of ecology, with an emphasis on human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the value of nature to people. She is Chair of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital and deputy Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan


  • Farming for nature- Inspirational short films and practical advice (Q&A) from farmers on the ground (75 mins)

Hosted by Brendan Dunford and Brigid Barry, this session will have Farming for Nature ambassadors Tommy Early and Kim McCall talk about their farming practices and answer any questions participants may have.

Tommy manages his 100-acre organic Aberdeen Angus suckler farm on the shores of Lough Allen, Co. Roscommon. He has been farming organically on the site since 1996 with a clear focus on nature and habitat conservation. His farm has high natural value with a variety of habitats such as intact raised bog, mature native woodland, species rich acidic grassland, wildflower meadows, lakeshore and river.  Tommy’s active role in local conservation has inspired others to follow his example in promoting nature on their own landsMore information and a short film on Tommy’s farm here.

Kim and Mireille manage a 214-acre mixed livestock stock farm in Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. They keep a herd of 75 pedigree suckler cows and their followers, a flock of c.80 sheep, as well as a few pigs in the summertime. The farm boasts a wide range of habitats – wetlands, woodlands, wet and dry grasslands, old buildings and walls. Kim acknowledges that farming sustainably isn’t easy, particularly trying to remain profitable, but feels that if you manage the land within its capacity, it’s very doable – ‘farming for nature, not against it’ as he says. The McCalls work in this regard has been recognised by several National awards and several appearances on TV. The McCalls work closely with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, providing valuable data. More information and a short film on Kim and Mirielle’s farm here.


Thursday June 4th (7 – 9pm)

  • Bedtime stories (2-8 years) with wildlife author Shane Casey and Q&A (30mins)

'The life of Bombus Reilly’ a story of a very unusual bumblebee who likes to talk to flowers will be one of the stories read by their author Shane Casey.  Shane Casey is a biodiversity officer and a children’s author. He has written several wildlife stories for children including a series of four books called ‘Nature’s Secret Adventures’. He will read some of his beautifully illustrated stories that bring nature to life and reveal the secret adventures of nature around us. He will also take any questions you may have on writing for children. Suitable for ages 2 to 8 years

  • ‘Islands of bloom’ a presentation from Inis Oirr by Gráinne Ní Chonghaile with Q&A

(60 mins)

This talk will give an overview of landscape and farming on the Aran Islands, taking us on a short virtual tour of Inis Oírr and illustrate some of the beautiful flowers that are currently in bloom on the islands. Gráinne will also talk about how AranLIFE project and now Caomhnú Árann EIP are working alongside island farmers to overcome some of the challenges they face.  Gráinne Ní Chonghaile works with the Caomhnú Árann project alongside the Aran farmers in promoting and conserving High Nature Value Farming within these invaluable and precious farmed habitats.


  • My favourite flower - a range of contributors tell us about the plants they love and why (15 mins)

Friday June 5th (7 – 9pm)


  • An art workshop to celebrate Burren’s flora with wildlife artist Gordon D’Arcy (45 mins)

Get your paper, pencils and colours ready for this unmissable drawing workshop with Gordon D’Arcy to celebrate the Burren’s wonderful flora through art. Gordon D’Arcy is an environmentalist working in the areas of art and Illustration, writing, education, fieldwork and consultancy. Suitable for all ages.


  • ‘Tidy towns and biodiversity’ a presentation by Janice Fuller with Q&A (60 mins)

 Dr Janice Fuller is a botanist and ecologist with an in-depth knowledge of the Irish flora and habitats based on many years’ experience of field survey and research. She also has a particular interest in community development and has facilitated the production of numerous local biodiversity action plans for Tidy Towns groups around the country. As a national Tidy Towns adjudicator, she has experience of a wide range of community-led biodiversity projects and initiatives around the country. She regularly delivers biodiversity training for community groups, local authorities and for the outdoor recreation sector. Janice is passionate about communicating the importance of the natural world in our everyday lives. 

  • My favourite flower - a range of contributors tell us about the plants they love and why (15 mins)


Saturday June 6th (7 – 9pm)

  • Burrenbeo's Blooming Burren Family Quiz (45 mins)  

    A quiz to test your floral knowledge of the Burren! Based on the images and information given in our daily social media posts of #FlowerADay posted all through April and May, we will be testing participants on how well they know the wildflowers of the Burren. Suitable for the whole family – just have a paper and pen ready!

  • ‘Semi-natural grasslands - precious resources under threat’ a presentation by Maria Long with Q&A (60 mins)

Maria’s talk will touch on the following topics - What are semi-natural grasslands, how do you recognise them, and where are they found? Are they under threat, and what can be done to conserve them? Maria is an ecologist with nearly 20 years' experience. She did her PhD in the Burren, looking at the effects of grazing management on plants and snails. She has worked on ecological surveys across most of Ireland, including searching for some of Ireland's rarest plants and surveying many of Ireland’s best grasslands. Maria teaches on a regular basis, and opening up the world of plant identification and ecology to new eyes is one of her favourite things. She worked for a number of years with the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), and is now the Grassland Ecologist with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

  • My favourite flower - a range of contributors tell us about the plants they love and why (15 mins)


Part funded by

Burren in Bloom is coordinated by the landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, a non-profit organisation that relies on support from the local community and various organisations to carry out it's work.  The Trust is hugely grateful for all its supporters.