On the Edge of The Burren

On the edge of The Burren On the edge of The Burren Panoramic Ireland | Irish Photo Tours

The Burren

Co. Clare's Burren is a unique landscape situated on Ireland's west coast. Its name derives from the Irish for 'rocky place'.

The Burren is a karst landscape, being formed of carboniferous limestones that formed some 350 million years ago. This limestone pavement weathers due to the acidic rainwater, over time it penetrates deeper underground creating the karst landscape. Rivers become subterranean, forming cave systems such as those at Ailwee.

The Burren is unique for many reasons, it's one of the largest karst regions in Europe covering over 300 sq km of the Atlantic seaboard of Ireland. However, it is the flora and fauna that are particularly impressive here with mediterranean, alpine and arctic species of plant growing within its area. This is due to the soil composition and the very mild winters that the area, and much of Ireland, experience.

This image was taken during a long day in the summer and at this time of the early evening I had the roads to myself in this wild and unusual place. The fertile valley in the foreground gives way to the exposed limestone pavement and in the distance, on the left of the image, land reclamation can be seen with green, grassy rectangles reaching higher up the hillside.

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